|Vietnamese unripe jackfruit is being sought by EU businesses as an alternative to meat. — Photo nld.com.vn
HCM CITY — Exports of Việt Nam’s unripe jackfruit to the EU have been lucrative due to a trend of using plant protein over meat protein, experts said.
During a conference on exporting to markets with free trade agreements held on November 18 in HCM City, Nguyễn Thảo Hiền, deputy director of the European-American Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said: “Việt Nam’s current exports of vegetables and fruit to the EU have never seen such high growth before.”
She noted that the relatively unique fruit product of unripe jackfruit is being sold widely on northern Europe due the popularity of using plant protein and reducing meat product consumption.
Đặng Phúc Nguyên, general secretary of the Việt Nam Vegetable and Fruit Association, told Người Lao Động newspaper that unripe jackfruit are heavily sought after by EU businesses since its texture is nearly similar to meat.
Thanks to Việt Nam’s FTA with the EU, fruit and vegetable exports are tariff-free, providing a competitive edge, he said.
Selling unripe jackfruit helps increase the value of jackfruit trees since farmers normally prune some jackfruits off so that the remaining fruits can grow as large as possible, he said.
According to Hiền, this shows that while Vietnamese businesses have been trading in the EU market for many years now, there are still room for growth if they can catch new trends.
“EU countries are increasing their standards and heading towards green and organic products, so exporters need to make necessary investments," Hiền said. "They can even seek out technology from EU suppliers to satisfy import requirements.”
Việt Nam’s export of fruit and vegetables to the EU in the first ten months of the year reached US$147.4 million, a 23.5 per cent rise year-on-year.
Exports to the market in 2021 rose by 3 per cent compared to 2020.
The European Union-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement coming into effect two years ago has played a big role in facilitating Việt Nam’s exports to the market, especially agricultural goods, thanks to tariff reductions.
According to experts, to take advantage of the FTA, local businesses need to satisfy international standards, change their farming and production procedures, and stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and requirements. — VNS