Improving fruit and vegetable exports to Japan

09:55 | 27/10/2015 Trade

(VEN) - Vietnamese mango was allowed to export to the Japanese market in September 2015, while a large volume of VietGAP-standard dragon fruit had an opportunity to enter this market. This is good news for Vietnamese agricultural products as fruit and vegetable exports to Japan are mainly in dried and canned forms.

Improving fruit and vegetable exports to Japan

Big opportunities

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Japan was the second largest fruit and vegetable importer with turnover accounting for around six to eight percent of total export turnover of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables. However most of them are processed products such as concentrated fruit juices, canned fruits, fried eggplants, boiled okras, chili and corn. White-flesh dragon fruit is the only fresh fruit that was allowed to export to Japan.

Thanks to greater efforts in negotiations, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries officially granted certificates for Vietnamese mango to be imported into Japan from September 2015.
A large volume of dragon fruit had an opportunity to enter  Japan via supermarkets. Thanks to a contract, around 3,000 tonnes of Binh Thuan dragon fruit are annually exported to this market. In addition to mango and white-flesh dragon fruit, red-flesh dragon fruit will be the next one.

Making the most of opportunities

Vietnamese vegetable and fruit exporters need greater efforts to make the most of opportunities as the country remains weak in terms of quality and preservation.

For example, to export 3,000 tonnes of dragon fruit to Japanese supermarkets, farmers must follow VietGAP standards and meet local food safety and hygiene standards. Vegetables and fruits for consignment will be treated through hot steam under strict oversight of Japanese and Vietnamese experts.

Promoting links between farmers and businesses is mentioned to ensure sustainable export to Japan. Fruit production models following VietGAP standards need to be expanded, while the state must link businesses and cooperatives to build large material areas.

Vietnamese Minister Counselor in Japan Nguyen Trung Dung recommended that businesses promote advertising to make Japanese consumers know better about Vietnamese vegetables and fruits.

Exporting a large amount of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits to Japan is not easy due to strict control. However, if ensuring high quality, food safety and hygiene standards, Vietnamese fruits will have Japan as one more market and avoid over-reliance on traditional markets.

Lan Phuong