Vietnamese lychee prises open market door to Japan

By Nguyen Ha   December 18, 2019 | 06:30 pm PT
Vietnamese lychee prises open market door to Japan
Traders packing fresh lychee in northern Bac Giang Province. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
After 5 years of negotiations, Japan has officially opened its doors to Vietnamese lychees, subject to strict conditions.

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has informed its decision to allow imports of the fruit, effective December 15.

A government portal report says the lychees exported to Japan must have been grown in orchards supervised and coded by the Plant Protection Department (PPD) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and must comply with Japanese packaging phytosanitary standards.

Japan is one of the countries with the most stringent food safety and quarantine regulations in the world. The latest decision has been taken after more than five years of negotiations between PPD and MAFF, as well as many rigorous tests conducted to ensure that the Vietnamese lychee is able to meet Japanese standards.

The PPD will inform and support localities, exporters, and farmers to quickly find importers in Japan so that Vietnam can start exporting the fruit as early as the next season, which falls between May and July, 2020.

Vietnamese lychee is currently being exported to 30 markets, mainly China, the EU, Russia, the U.S., and Canada, according to the agriculture ministry.

Japan accounted for 3.2 percent of Vietnam's total exports of fruit and vegetables worth $3.5 billion in the first 11 months of this year, the ministry reported. 

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