Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exporters will be able to resume shipments to the EU from 30 June after a 15-month hiatus now the country's plant protection department has agreed to re-issue quarantine certificates, reports Tuoi Tre News.
The department stopped issuing certificates in March 2012 after Vietnamese basil, sweet pepper, celery, bitter gourd and coriander failed to meet EU food hygiene and safety regulations, prompting the EU to threaten to ban all Vietnamese produce if five more consignments violated standards.
The plant protection agency decided to temporarily suspend quarantine certificates to prevent other fruit, such as blue dragon fruit or grapefruit, from being added to the EU blacklist.
“But things will return to normal as of June 30,” Nguyen Van Nga of the plant protection department, is reported as saying.
Nga advised local exporters to source their products from reliable, GAP-certified farmers.
Vietnam expects to earn US$1bn from fresh produce exports this year, according to the report.
The country exported some US$187m-worth of fruit and vegetables in the first quarter of this year, a 10 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Vegetable and Fruit Association.
Vietnamese vegetables and fruit are now available in 40 markets worldwide.