US food association wants Vietnamese cashew workers vaccinated

By Dat Nguyen   August 5, 2021 | 12:21 am PT
US food association wants Vietnamese cashew workers vaccinated
Cashew nuts. Photo by Pixabay/Mahesh Patel.
A U.S. food association has urged the Vietnamese government to prioritize cashew workers for vaccination as the industry plays a major role in trade.

The U.S. Association of Food Industries (AFI) has requested that Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh prioritize the distribution of vaccines to agricultural and food production workers in Vietnam, particularly the cashews sector, which is an important item for many of its members.

Vaccination would help Vietnam "retain its leadership within the sector, a position that if lost, may never be regained," it said in a letter.

AFI has around 1,000 member companies, including several Vietnamese. Many AFI U.S. members import products from Vietnam.

Pham Van Cong, president of Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), said the supply chain to the U.S. and other markets might be disrupted if vaccination for cashew workers is delayed.

Vietnam has been the largest cashew exporter in the world in the last 16 years. The U.S. market accounts for nearly one-third of the $3.5 billion value of annual Vietnamese cashew kernel exports.

Last week, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) also requested the U.S. and Vietnam governments to speed up distribution of vaccines to major suppliers.

More than 7.55 million Vietnamese have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus but only 778,986 have received two doses.

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