Vietnam Fish Sauce Fortification Project


Project Overview

The World Bank and then GAIN awarded the Government of Vietnam’s National Institute of Nutrition, in partnership with UNICEF and the National Fortification Alliance, US$ 3.00 million to fortify fish sauce with iron. Fish sauce is consumed by more than 80 percent of the total population. Funding supports activities including: purchase of fortification equipment for fish sauce factories, development of regulatory monitoring activities, and implementation of a social marketing and consumer education campaign. After the conclusion of the project, GAIN provided US$197,000 in bridge funding to support the completion of key project activities.




The goal of the project is to reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia by making iron-fortified fish sauce available to the population.


At full scale, the project aims to reach approximately 25 percent of the population with fortified fish sauce.


At the close of the project, ten fish sauce factories were producing fortified fish sauce and more than 575,000 people had access to iron fortified fish sauce. In addition, fortification legislation has been developed and is being reviewed by the government. The current draft of the new food law contains an article on fortification.  The article stipulates that micronutrient fortification is mandatory if it can be shown that the corresponding deficiency constitute a public health problem.


Furthermore, a quality control manual has been developed and implemented, alongside training courses on labelling, sampling methodology and a testing protocol. Regular testing of market samples as part of external quality control measures in eleven fish sauce companies has also been carried out.

A partnership with the Women’s Union system was also developed and mass media was actively used, including television, radio, national and local newspapers and the internet. In 2008, social marketing and promotion activities were intensified in provinces where the fortifying fish sauce companies hold market share.


The project began in July 2005 and was concluded in July 2009. A second phase is under discussion. GAIN is also supporting a national micronutrient survey to establish better estimates of micronutrient deficiencies in Vietnam.

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