A British fruit company has recently sought Vietnamese exporters of longans by visiting plantations which grow the tropical fruit in two of the country’s southern provinces.
Mike Dodds, who represents Dorset-based AloeFruitWave, toured longan plantations in Ben Tre and Dong Thap, both located in the Mekong Delta, to look for qualified products to ship to the UK.
The company is currently distributing Thai-grown longans to retailers in the UK and wants to bring the Vietnamese fruit to the market, according to Dodds.
The sweet, succulent longan – which literally means "eye" in Vietnamese – is very tasty and enjoyable to eat and provides many health benefits as it contains a wealth of powerful antioxidants, besides being low in calories.
But Vietnamese longans have yet to meet the GlobalGAP standards in order to enter the UK market, Dodds noted.
The GlobalGAP standard is primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food is produced on the farm by minimizing detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical toxicants, and ensuring a responsible approach to animal welfare, according to Reuters.
The AloeFruitWave representative said the cultivation process and the quality of Vietnamese longans are quite good, and his company and British importers will support local growers to apply GlobalGAP standards to their crops in the future.
Dodds said the UK is the strictest market in Europe, but once accepted by the country, Vietnam’s fruit can be exported anywhere.