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VietNamNews

Lychee marketers on a roll

Update: June, 11/2015 - 10:06
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the country's lychee output was likely to top 200,000 tonnes this year, with 40 per cent being exported. — File Photo
HCM CITY  (VNS) — Wholesale markets and distributors in HCM City have plans in place to boost sales of lychee, a city leader told a meeting in HCM City yesterday.

Nguyen Thi Hong, People's Committee dep-uty chairwoman, said last year the city had consumed 60,000 tonnes, or 50 per cent of the nation's total.

About 80,000 tonnes are expected to be sold in the city this year, she said, adding that wholesalers and retailers had met with businesses in Hai Duong and Bac Giang provinces to discuss transport of the fruits to the south.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the country's lychee output was likely to top 200,000 tonnes this year, with 40 per cent being exported.

Trinh Diep Thanh Thao, deputy director of the Thu Duc Wholesale Market, said the market had set up three new stalls to sell lychee after getting 11,500 tonnes in the period between May 17 and June 9.

Co-opMart supermarket chain expected to sell 800 tonnes of lychees this year.

It now sold 10-15 tonnes daily and the volume could reach 30 tonnes at times, Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, deputy general director of Sai Gon Co.op, said, adding that the supermarket offered promotions to boost consumption.

Ho Quoc Nguyen, Big C's public relations director, said the supermarket was likely to sell more than 300 tonnes this year and it too offered promotions.

Previously, Ha Noi authorities also said that they would soon grant trading licences to lychee traders in Hai Duong Province so they can open mobile lychee shops at vacant places in Ha Noi.

Ha Noi Industry and Trade Department director Le Hong Thang said his city and Hai Duong Province would introduce one more distribution system for lychees, apart from other distribution systems in wholesale markets, trading centres and supermarkets. The authorities of communes and market management boards would arrange vacant lots for enterprises and traders from Hai Duong to sell their lychees in Ha Noi, he added.

Improve quality

Workers package lychees at a workshop assessed by the US Department of Agriculture as qualified to package the fruit for export to the US. — VNA/VNS Photo Manh Minh

At the meeting yesterday in HCM City, authorities also called on lychee farmers to adopt VietGap and Global-Gap standards on more areas to improve the quality of their fruits and meet hygiene and food safety requirements in both domestic and export markets.

Hong said lychee was now mainly consumed as fresh fruit, and so preservation methods to keep it fresh for longer were needed.

Besides, research should be done into processing fresh lychee so that a spike in supply after a harvest did not send prices crashing, she said.

Thao said businesses should pay attention to packaging and building brands for the fruit.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said building a value chain for the fruit was very important.

"It took almost 10 years for Viet Nam to complete necessary procedures to export lychee to the US and Australia.

Yesterday, with the shipment of more than three tonnes of lychees to Australia and two tonnes to the US, Rong Do Company was the second company to export lychees to the US and the first Vietnamese company to ship the fruit to Australia.

Robert Guillermo, pre-clearance specialist with the US Department of Agriculture, who inspected the shipment yesterday, said the lychee quality met the standards for export to the US market.

"It is fresh and sweet, and meets the quality standard," he said. "We have had two previous shipments sent to the US. They were the same quality as this one," Guillermo said.

He predicted that the volume of lychees exported to the US would increase sharply in the near future, depending on the state of the US economy.

Alex Alexopoulos, national sales manager for PanasiaFresh, which imports litchis from Viet Nam and sells them in Australia, said he was satisfied with the quality of the lychees in Viet Nam and that the packaging facility was very good.

All of the lychees will be sold in wholesale markets and supermarkets in Australia. After this first shipment, his company plans to buy as much as possible if customers in Australia like the Vietnamese lychees.

"We hope this season we can import 15 to 20 tonnes of lychees every week for distribution in Australia," Alexopoulos said, adding his company also plans to import coconut, mango and dragonfruit from Viet Nam.

Deputy Trade Minister Tuan Anh said:"Exports will add value. Therefore, the producing stage must be stable in terms of quality and quantity to export to existing markets and expand to other markets."

He said that his ministry would work with the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Science and Technology to fix quality standards for fruits, including lychee.

It would also work with relevant ministries to find packaging and post-harvest solutions, he said.

Authorities from Bac Giang and Hai Duong provinces said they would increase the area under lychee adopting VietGap and GlobalGap standards to improve quality.

Nguyen Doan Quang, director of the Hai Duong Department of Industry and Trade, said the province would strive to ensure safe production processes were adopted on 50 per cent of the cultivation area by 2020, including VietGap and GlobalGap standards on 20-30 per cent. — VNS

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