In addition to large export markets such as the US, Australia and Japan, Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exporters are seeking ways to develop trade with the EU market as this market is considered to have great potential.
The information was delivered at a seminar entitled "Maintaining and expanding market for Vietnam's fresh fruit and vegetable exports to the EU" jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and European trade policy and investment support project (EU-Mutrap), in Ho Chi Minh City on October 10.
Statistics show that the exports of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables reached over US$2.6 billion in the first nine months of 2017, up 44.2% from the same period last year.
Although the EU market is considered a large market promising great potential for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables, the market is governed by strict requirements on food safety.
Rugguero Malosssi, an international expert from the EU-MUTRAP project said that the EU always attaches special importance to issues of pesticide residue and the quality of products. For example, farm products cannot contain any pesticide residue if this type of pesticide is banned from use.
In addition, to ensure food safety and avoid environmental damages, the EU restricts the use of certain chemicals, so imports are subject to official controls. Specifically, the EU establishes limits on certain contaminants including nitrate limits on amaranth and lettuce and other metals related to fresh vegetables.
The Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association also noted that Vietnamese enterprises must meet requirements on food safety and hygiene, quarantine and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Global Good Agricultural Practice (GlobalGAP) in order to develop and maintain good export activities with the EU market.
GlobalGAP has become the minimum standard for supermarkets in the EU which covers the whole production process, not including processing and packaging.
Experts also suggested Vietnamese enterprises export organic fruit and vegetable products as ever more EU consumers prefer food produced by natural methods.
Moreover, related ministries and sectors should soon develop appropriate strategies for each market and support convenient transportation services for Vietnamese products with a competitive advantage such as dragon fruit, longan, rambutan, pomelo, and mango, among others.
Meanwhile, enterprises are recommended to focus on the planning and development of concentrated production areas for key export products and invest in quarantine and preservation technology to meet the requirements from importing countries.