French kiwifruit exporters are hopeful of being able to send their fruit to Vietnam for the first time before the start of the next campaign, as negotiations advance rapidly.
“The negotiations have been very quick,” confirmed Daniel Soares, international marketing manager at French interprofessional organisation Interfel. “We only started one year ago, but we are close, since relations between the two countries are so good.”
According to Soares, Vietnamese inspectors are due to arrive in France next week. “Inspectors are coming to examine the orchards and packhouses, and to see how the whole system works in France,” he said. “If everything is OK, then an agreement usually takes around one month.”
Perhaps as a result of the close relations between the two countries, demand for French products is high in Vietnam, a major attraction for French exporters.
French apples gained access to the country at the end of last year, and an impressive 70 containers have been shipped in the first campaign. According to Soares, Vietnam is also a very promising market for kiwifruit.
However, Jean-Baptiste Pinel, managing director of exporter Primland, refused to get carried away, preferring to remain cautious about the possibility of a speedy conclusion to the negotiations. “We hope to have some news before the next campaign,” he said.