Bac Giang Province seeks to increase lychee sales to the US

06:00 | 13/04/2022 Trade

(VEN) - The northern province of Bac Giang recently organized an online conference promoting sales of lychee and other key produce to the US.

Bumper crop hope

The trademarks and geographical indications of Bac Giang Province’s high-quality lychees are registered and protected in eight countries. Provincial lychees have been exported to more than 30 countries and territories worldwide.

bac giang province seeks to increase lychee sales to the us
The March 29 online conference promoting sales of Bac Giang’s key produce, including lychees, to the US in 2022

Phan The Tuan, Deputy Chair of the Bac Giang Province People's Committee said the weather is favorable this year, helping lychees in the province grow well, while pests and diseases are under control. The province is expected to reach a lychee output of more than 160,000 tonnes in 2022, he said. Lychees for export to the US, Australia and the European Union are being grown on ​​218 hectares of land with an estimated output of 1,600 tonnes of fruit, Tuan added.

In addition, lychees for export to Japan are being cultivated on 219.45ha of land with an estimated output of 1,800 tonnes of fruit. The province is also expected to produce 95,000 tonnes of lychees for sales to China.

Bac Giang encourages businesses to sell lychees on e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon.com, Alibaba.com, Sendo.vn, Postmart.vn, and Voso.vn, and other digital platforms including fan pages on Facebook, Zalo and other social networks.

In 2021, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Bac Giang sold 215,852 tonnes of high quality lychees, up over 50,850 tonnes from 2020, at a stable price of VND19,800 per kilo, earning estimated total revenue of VND6.821 trillion.

bac giang province seeks to increase lychee sales to the us
Bac Giang’s high-quality lychees attract consumers

High transportation costs

Tuan said Bac Giang attaches great importance to both domestic and foreign markets. The province considers the US a potential but discerning market with great purchasing power and strict quality, quarantine and food safety and hygiene standards.

Jolie Nguyen, a US import representative said that in 2021, the US imported US$15.1 billion worth of fresh fruit, and its demand for tropical fruit from Vietnam is increasing. However, this market has high standards and strict export controls, such as the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program, the Plant Protection Act (PPA), Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), among others.

According to Bac Giang Province’s leadership, there is no US-approved irradiation center in northern Vietnam so lychees are brought to Ho Chi Minh City for packaging and irradiation before being exported, increasing the export cost. Export costs are also burdened by the high price of air transportation, while ocean shipping takes a long time and hampers lychee preservation.

Bringing lychees to the US is important, said Nguyen Dinh Phu who represents Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the US, because Vietnamese living there love the special fruits of their home country.

Le Anh Duong, Chair of the Bac Giang Province People's Committee said that although it has an orientation of developing into an industrial province, Bac Giang will also focus on green development areas, including production of key fruits such as high-quality lychee, in its four mountainous districts. The province plans to continue investing in agricultural development by improving product quality and creating organic produce meeting food safety standards for export, Duong said.

The province exports 40-50 percent of its fresh lychees, while its rate of processed lychees remains low. Bac Giang will encourage investors and businesses to both export fresh lychees and invest in lychee processing in order to increase processed product exports.

Speaking at the conference, a representative of Vietnam Airlines said that the airlines can arrange to transport 180-200 tonnes of lychees via domestic flights per day and set aside about 20 percent of room on international flights for lychee exports while shortening lychee delivery time and promoting Bac Giang lychees on Vietnam Airlines flights and e-commerce platforms.

Bac Giang Province is expected to organize a 2022 lychee promotion online meeting with domestic and foreign partners from China, Japan, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), among others, on May 25.

Thanh Tam