|The signing of a deal between Hồ Quang Trí Enterprise and EUTEK Group for the latter to exclusively distribute the Vietnamese company’s award-winning ST25 rice variety in the UK. — VNA/VNS Photo
SÓC TRĂNG — The Ông Cua ST25 rice variety is now being sold in the wider UK market after becoming popular among British-Asian consumers.
It became famous globally after winning the World's Best Rice competition in 2019 and 2020.
Nguyễn Hải Nam, business development manager of EUTEK Group, its exclusive distributor in the UK, said after receiving positive reviews from many Asian market in the UK, his company planned to focus on promoting Việt Nam rice and other specialties in Britain.
Hồ Quang Cua, the creator of Ông Cua ST25 and a member of the board of director of Hồ Quang Trí Enterprise, the Vietnamese exporter of the rice, said two tonnes had been shipped to the Australian market and received good reviews.
The company is now receiving a lot of orders.
Nguyễn Cảnh Cường, trade counsellor at the Vietnamese embassy in the British capital London, said Việt Nam is only the 15th biggest exporter of rice to the UK, accounting for a modest 0.42 per cent of that country’s imports.
That means the door to the market is wide open for Vietnamese rice thanks to the UKVFTA tariff quota and a Vietnamese community that is more than 100,000 strong.
However, ST24 and ST25 are not included in the list of nine Vietnamese fragrant rice varieties that enjoy tariff export quotas under the UKVFTA, which took effect in May last year.
This is because negotiations with the EU for the list of fragrant rice varieties to benefit from the tariff quotas began in 2013, while ST25 rice only became widely known in 2019 after it won the World's Best Rice title for the first time.
The UKVFTA is an important continuation of trade facilitation between the two countries after the UK exited the EU, and tariffs are replicated from the EU -Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.
Under the trade deal, the UK gives Việt Nam a quota of 13,358 tonnes of rice per year at zero tax, including 5,001 tonnes of fragrant rice, and the two sides will review the quota after three years.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in preparation for the Trade Committee meeting as part of the UKVFTA, it has recommended that the Ministry of Industry and Trade should add six fragrant rice varieties, including ST24 and ST25, to the list.
It said some varieties in the list are no longer grown for export, and should be removed to make way for some new varieties that have great export potential. — VNS