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Vietnamese lychees aim to expand global footprint

June 18, 2022 | 04:10 pm PT
The "Vietnamese lychees go global" forum was held on June 16 to promote lychee exports and take the brand name of the Vietnamese fruit to the next level.

Vietnamese lychees have made a name for itself in many international markets. According to Le Hoang Tai, deputy director of the Trade Promotion Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade, China accounts for 91 percent of Vietnam's total lychee export volume. Other markets include Japan, Korea, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

Hai Duong, home to Thanh Ha lychees, currently has over 9,000 hectares under cultivation, producing 60,000 tons of lychees every year, of which 50 percent is consumed domestically, 40 percent is exported to traditional markets, and 10 percent to high-end markets including the U.S., Japan, and EU.

"We aim to build a global brand of high-quality lychees," Tran Van Quan, vice chairman of Hai Duong Province People's Committee, said.

A panel discussion

A panel discussion at the "Vietnamese lychees go global" forum. Photo by Tung Dinh

Bac Giang, another leading area for lychee production, has 28,000 hectares of lychee-growing land, providing 25,000 tons of lychees exported to 30 countries. Most meet VietGAP and Global GAP standards.

"The province will continue to boost lychee exports to high-end markets, and new markets including Canada and Thailand," Phan The Tuan, vice chairman of Bac Giang, said.

Palestinian Ambassador to Vietnam, Saadi Salama, said: "Lychees have gradually become the pride of Vietnam."

George Burchett, a journalist from Australia, said: "Lychees are both eye-catching and delicious, suitable for everyone's taste, not only contributing to Vietnamese exports but also enhancing Vietnam's image to the world."

Pham Van Dung, director of Hong Xuan Cooperative, Bac Giang, admitted that the preservation process is one of the challenges for Vietnamese lychees. "Ripe lychees that have not been consumed yet need more intensive solutions like freeze-drying or high-tech drying, so that there are still products for the market even when the harvest ends," said Dung.

Director of Toan Cau Company, Nguyen Duc Hung, admitted that Vietnamese enterprises focus on exporting fresh lychees, but fresh lychees can be preserved for 40 days at most, "so it is difficult for lychees to reach far-flung markets."

He suggested new products like frozen lychee, with long-term preservation capacity, should be offered so that the fruit could reach global customers with diverse tastes.

The Palestinian ambassador noted Vietnamese lychees are facing difficulties in reaching far-flung markets because of logistics. "In a short time of two months, to export lychees to global markets in fresh conditions is a challenge."

He suggested agencies prepare in advance to facilitate lychee transportation.

Tai of the Trade Promotion Department recommended that while aviation costs are high, lychees should be transported via railways to cut costs and avoid delays in shipment, which takes about only 15-21 days.

A foreign delegate visits Vietnamese lycheese exhibition booths. Photo by Tung Dinh

A foreign delegate visits the Vietnamese lychee exhibition booths. Photo by Tung Dinh

Salama said that products on sale in the Middle East normally have Halal marks on their packages as a sign of a trustworthy or superior product. He hoped that more Vietnamese lychee products are Halal-labelled to reach consumers here.

 
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