Brands help Vietnamese rice enter more global markets

By Thi Ha   October 5, 2022 | 07:47 pm PT
Brands help Vietnamese rice enter more global markets
Com Vietnam rice is sold in France. Photo by Huong Nguyen
Vietnamese rice has been served for the first time for lunch at the Japanese Cabinet Office, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan.

On September 2, chefs there made fried rice from ST25, the award winning Vietnamese grain.

To enter the Japanese market, the Vietnamese producers of the rice had to meet more than 600 stringent technical standards and took over a year of negotiations with authorities in that country.

Then, in September, Loc Troi Group exported the Com Vietnam brand of rice to France where it was bought by retailer E.Leclerc.

Some 500 tons of Com Vietnam were sold to France’s Carrefour, Europe’s largest retailer and wholesaler.

For more than 20 years Vietnamese rice had been exported without proprietary brand names or under the brand name of foreign importers. This is the first year that rice exports are packed and labeled with brand names registered internationally.

The evident quality of the product is increasingly attracting consumers in the high-end segment.

A Loc Troi spokesperson said rice exports so far this year have been higher than in the whole of 2021.

The company plans to increase exports to Europe, the U.S., Japan, and Australia, where it has rice farms and controls pesticide residues.

Distributors in those markets have been expressing interest in buying from Vietnamese businesses.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American consumers are fond of fragrant and long-grain rice varieties like Vietnam’s ST25, and their imports have seen a surge in the last two years.

Pham Thai Binh, general director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company from southern Can Tho Province, told VnExpress, his company is unable to meet European demand.

"We are also trying to increase production." He expected the Philippines and China also to increase rice imports.

Analysts at securities company VnDirect expected Vietnam's rice exports to benefit from India’s export restrictions to stabilize prices after output was hit by drought.

This has caused rice prices in Vietnam and Thailand to increase sharply in the past half month, they noted.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agricultural Development Phung Duc Tien said rice exports are expected to be worth US$3.2-3.3 billion this year.

The government recently instructed the agriculture ministry to zone one million hectares for high-quality specialized rice in the Mekong Delta.

The initial draft envisages the zones to be situated in Dong Thap, Long An, An Giang, and Kien Giang provinces and Can Tho City.

These areas are relatively less affected by drought and salinity, have extensive irrigation systems and can ship their produce by waterway, according to Nguyen Nhu Cuong, director of the ministry’s Department of Crop Production.

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