Asia’s leading fresh produce trade show hosts export seminar in Ho Chi Minh City and meets key players in the market ahead of 2023 edition this September in Hong Kong

Asia Fruit Logistica and Asiafruit Magazine travelled to Ho Chi Minh City last week to strengthen connections in the booming Vietnam market ahead of the return of Asia’s premier fresh fruit and vegetable show to Hong Kong on 6-8 September 2023.

Asia Fruit Logistica – together with local partner AHK Vietnam and media partner Asiafruit Magazine – organised an export seminar on 18 May with the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit). The seminar – ‘Exporting fresh fruit and vegetables to Asia and Europe: requirements and trends’ – was attended by more than 60 key industry professionals.

In addition to hosting the export seminar, Asia Fruit Logistica brought together some of Vietnam’s leading food retailers and fruit suppliers/distributors for a networking cocktail on the evening of 18 May. 

Asia Fruit Logistica’s Asia market manager Kay Kwok and Asiafruit Magazine editor John Hey also held meetings with several key players in Vietnam’s fresh fruit trade.

The programme incorporated a visit to Lineage Logistics, one of Vietnam’s leading cold chain operators. The guided tour of Lineage Logistics’ Ho Chi Minh facilities included a look at cross-docking operations for major food retailer MM Mega Market, followed by a visit to one of MM Mega Market’s flagship stores together with key supplier, Fresh Fruit-X.

Meetings with leading fresh fruit importers such as Tony Fruit and Biovegi provided valuable insights into the latest trends in Vietnam’s fast-evolving market for imported fruits. The delegation also met with Chanh Thu Group, one of Vietnam’s premier fresh fruit exporters, and learned about the rapid development of the nation’s durian exports to the recently opened China market.

“Vietnam is very well represented at Asia Fruit Logistica, both in terms of exhibitors and visitors, and the participation is increasing steadily every year,” said Kwok. “That reflects the impressive growth of Vietnam’s fruit trade. It was great to meet and spend time with many key customers there, to learn from them and to see first-hand the exciting and dynamic market development.”

Hey added: “Vietnam has been the standout market in Asia for premium imported fruits this past several years. The global slowdown has affected the high-end market somewhat of late as Vietnam is such an export-oriented economy. But it’s clear from our meetings that the trade is continuing to innovate and expand. And the prospects for global suppliers remain very bright indeed.”

“Our export seminar and meetings also underlined the exciting growth opportunities for Vietnam’s fresh fruit exports,” Hey continued. “Exports to the booming China market have diversified beyond dragon fruit to include durian, bananas and mangoes, and there is clearly great potential there if the industry can meet China’s increasingly strict import standards. At the same time, China is a growing supply competitor in several of these categories, and we heard how the industry must continue to explore opportunities in other markets across Asia and beyond.”

Export seminar

In his opening remarks to the seminar ‘Exporting fresh fruit and vegetables to Asia and Europe: requirements and trends’, Dang Phuc Nguyen, secretary general of Vinafruit, said the total value of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable industry is expected to top US$4bn in 2023, according to government estimates, up 20 per cent on last year. The industry is targeting to reach US$5bn by 2025, driven by strong demand at home and abroad, especially in China.

While China accounts for almost 60 per cent of Vietnam’s fresh produce exports, the EU is an important market with potential for expansion, he noted. The Vietnam-EU free trade agreement, which went into force in August 2020, is providing further impetus, but he said the key challenges centred on meeting the exacting standards of the EU market in terms of food safety and quality assurance.

AHK Vietnam’s Lanh Huyen Nhu explained the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act and the challenges and opportunities it presents for Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exporters. Nguyen Thi Phuong Vi, advisory services manager for Eurofins, gave an overview of the SPS regulations in the EU for fresh fruit and vegetables, pinpointing issues Vietnamese exporters needed to address in terms of compliance with chemicals and pesticides. 

Asia Fruit Logistica’s Asia market manager Kay Kwok then provided a preview of what to expect at this year’s trade show on 6-8 September in Hong Kong, while AHK Vietnam’s head of business development, Trang Dao, discussed the importance of participating in Fruit Logistica in terms of market entry and development.

The seminar rounded out with a panel discussion on key market trends and potential for Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports, chaired by Hey. The panel discussion featured insights from Vinafruit’s Dang Phuc Nguyen; Jennifer Karla Briones, export sales manager of The Fruit Republic; and Thao Nguyen, business manager of Hoang Phat Fruit.


Asia Fruit Logistica is back in Hong Kong on 6-8 September 2023, taking place together with Asiafruit Congress and Asiafruit Business Forum at AsiaWorld-Expo.