|Delegates of the "Vietnamese lychee to the world" forum held in Hà Nội yesterday visited stalls displaying lychee products outside of this forum. VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết|
HÀ NỘI — To help take Vietnamese lychee exports to the next level, a seminar entitled “Vietnamese lychees go global” was held in Hà Nội to support and promote the global brand name of the popular Vietnamese fruit.
Hải Dương and Bắc Giang provinces are the two leading areas for lychee production.
Trần Văn Quân, vice chairman of Hải Dương Province, said the province aims to make Vietnamese lychee a global name thanks to its world-class quality.
Quân said Hải Dương has over 9,000 hectares of lychees, producing 60,000 tonnes per year. About 50 per cent are consumed domestically, 40 per cent exported to traditional markets and 10 per cent to high-end markets.
The province is home to Thanh Hà 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 Việt Nam, 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 deputy director 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 Thế Tuấn, vice chairman of Bắc Giang Province, underscored the province as the one with the largest lychee-growing areas of over 28,000 hectares. Bắc Giang’s lychees are the first Vietnamese product to be granted PGIC in Japan and are eligible for trademark protection in eight countries.
“Bắc 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 lychees from 18 PAC-granted areas of 218 hectares are gaining ground in the US and EU, and 35 PAC-granted areas of 269 hectares in Japan. So far, Bắc Giang’s lychees have been commercially available in over 30 countries.
He said the province will continue to boost lychee export to high-end markets and try to gain entry into new markets, including Canada and Thailand.
Nguyễn Đức Hưng, manager of the Toàn Cầu 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 delayments in shipment, which has been an issue in sea shipping.
Saadi Salama, Palestinian Ambassador to Việt Nam, 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 footprint in the market, allowing the fruits to be enjoyed by more foreign consumers.
"I visited many Vietnamese exhibition booths today. All booths were well-organised with many eye-catching lychee products. Unfortunately, no products had been Halal-labelled. I hope that they would 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 Việt Nam due to high logistics costs. — VNS