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Luisa Cheshire


Vietnam pursues American dream

There is room for growth in the US market for Vietnamese exotic fruit exports, says official ahead of lychee and longan shipments

Vietnam pursues American dream

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Vietnam hopes its lychee and longan exports will emulate the success of its dragon fruit and rambutan in the US, reports Tuoi Tre News.
Irradiated Vietnamese lychee and longan shipments to the US will start for the first time in October, after the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis) granted them access on 4 September.
Nguyen Huu Dat, director of Vietnam’s plant protection department, told Tuoi Tre News he is hopeful lychee and longan exports will take off in the US because there is room for Vietnamese tropical fruit sales to grow in that market. But he added that the fruits’ success depended on exporters.
“The government will assist fruit exporters in shipping lychee and longan to the US,” Dat said. “But whether the US will be a wide or narrow market for Vietnamese lychee and longan depends on the exporters.”
Just like dragon fruit and rambutan, lychee and longan must obtain VietGAP certification to qualify for the US market, Dat added.
Vietnam’s dragon fruit exports to the US rocketed from just 100 tonnes in 2008 to 1,200 tonnes in 2012, and are still growing, Dat said.
“I think the exportation of Vietnamese dragon fruit to the US has achieved certain success, as the fruit is mainly consumed by the Asian community there,” he said.
“I hope the market will continue to widen for Vietnamese tropical fruit, as there is more room to grow.”
Dat also said one of the advantages of exporting longan to the US is that the fruit can be preserved for a long time if frozen.
“Hence, we can export by sea instead of air, with larger volumes and lower costs,” he said.

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