|Farmers in Xuan Tho Commune, southern Dong Nai Province's Xuan Loc District, harvest pepper. The Viet Nam Pepper Association (VPA) said the quality of pepper must be enhanced to increase the product's export value. — VNA/VNS Photo Manh Linh
HA NOI (VNS)— The Viet Nam Pepper Association (VPA) urged enterprises to enhance the quality of pepper while devising measures for brand positioning made-in-Viet Nam pepper to increase the products' export value.
According to VPA, Viet Nam's pepper products were present in more than 150 countries worldwide, accounting for 50 per cent of the global market share.
However, made-in-Viet Nam pepper products remained unknown to many consumers across the world.
VPA pointed out that up to 95 per cent of exported pepper had only undergone preliminary processing.
In addition, pepper products were exported through foreign partners before reaching customers, meaning the products were mainly sold under the brands of foreign processors.
This meant the export prices of pepper were often 30-40 per cent lower than the prices of ready-to-sell products.
Statistics showed the pepper price in the domestic market declined by roughly VND5,000-10,000 (US$0.24-0.48) per kilogram at the end of March.
The price gap of pepper between the domestic and world market also widened in the first three months of the year. The price gap of black pepper increased from $295 per tonne in 2012 to $389 per tonne currently while white pepper from $89 to $450-500 per tonne.
The export prices for black and white pepper were $92 and $436 per tonne lower than the average price of 2012, respectively.
VPA's president Do Ha Nam said enterprises should analyse the relationship between supply and demand in the market, to prevent price falls by choosing the best times for the release of pepper.
He also attributed the low price of made-in Viet Nam pepper products to their quality, as some did not meet the requirements of importers in terms of hygiene and safety.
According to Nam, there is a huge gap between the export value of black and white pepper, so enterprises should increase the percentage of white pepper produced to earn more profits.
In addition, the industry should aim to meet the US's ASTA standard (about the safety for spices sold in the US) for the quality of pepper products. The percentage of ASTA-approved pepper Viet Nam exported to Europe and the US remained limited.
Nam also urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to roll-out detailed planning for the long-term sustainable development of the pepper industry.
In the first quarter of 2013, pepper exports reached 38,374 tonnes with a turnover of $254.1 million, representing rises of 23.5 per cent and 20 per cent on the same period last year, respectively. — VNS