Seminar 'Vietnamese lychees go global' in Hanoi to promote global brand name of fruit
|Seminar entitled "Vietnamese lychees go global" in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)|
The northern provinces of Hai Duong and Bac Giang are the two leading areas for lychee production.
Tran Van Quan, Vice Chairman of Hai Duong People’s Committee, said the province aims to make the Vietnamese lychee a global name thanks to its world-class quality.
According to Quan, Hai Duong has over 9,000 hectares of lychees, producing 60,000 tonnes per year. About 50 percent are consumed domestically, 40 percent exported to traditional markets and 10 percent to high-end markets.
The province is home to Thanh Ha lychee, a variety that has made a name for itself in many demanding markets. The fruit has been granted a Protected Geographical Indication Certificate (PGIC) in Vietnam, as one of the Top 10 producers of prestige, honoured as a quintessence of Vietnamese local specialities.
“Our local lychees are grown in accordance with VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards. Remarkably, 189 Planting Area Codes (PAC) have been granted to many localities with a total granted area of 1,200 hectares”, he said.
The vice chairman also said that the province will focus on expanding export-only lychee-growing areas to add more value to the fruit and meet the growing demand of foreign markets.
Phan The Tuan, Vice Chairman of Bac Giang People’s Committee, underscored that the province has the country’s largest lychee-growing area of over 28,000 hectares. Bac Giang’s lychees are the first Vietnamese product to be granted PGIC in Japan and are eligible for trademark protection in eight countries.
“Bac Giang has 15,400 hectares of VietGAP lychees, equivalent to an annual output of 125,000 tonnes, and 102 hectares of GlobalGAP lychees, equivalent to over 1,000 tonnes”, he said.
The vice chairman also noted that so far, Bac Giang’s lychees have been commercially available in over 30 countries.
He said the province will continue to boost lychee exports to high-end markets and try to gain entry into new markets, including Canada and Thailand.
Nguyen Duc Hung, manager of the Toan Cau Company, admitted that Vietnamese lychees are facing difficulties in reaching far-flung markets because the fruits cannot be kept fresh for long.
"Fresh lychees can be preserved for 40 days at most, so the fruits cannot travel long distances to far-flung markets," he said.
Accordingly, he recommended that Vietnamese producers develop new lychee-derived products that can last for a longer period of time so that the fruit can reach global customers.
He also suggested lychees be transported via railway to the EU to cut costs and avoid delays in shipment, which has been an issue in sea shipping.
Saadi Salama, Palestinian Ambassador to Vietnam, stressed that products on sale in the Middle East normally have Halal marks on their packages, indicating that the products meet Halal standards.
He hoped that more Vietnamese lychee-derived products are Halal-labelled to expand its foothold in the market, allowing the fruits to be enjoyed by more foreign consumers.
"I visited many Vietnamese exhibition booths today. All the booths were well-organised with many eye-catching lychee products. Unfortunately, no products were Halal-labelled. I hope that they will obtain the mark soon," he said.
George Burchett, an Australian journalist, described Vietnamese lychees as fruit from heaven due to their beautiful taste, though Vietnamese lychees are much more expensive in Australia than in Vietnam due to high logistics costs.