Vietnam has shipped the first consignment of passionfruit to Europe under the recently signed EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

According to a report from Nhan Dan Online, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) announced the news on 16 September along with exporter Dong Giao Foodstuff Export Joint Stock Company.

The first shipment of 100 tonnes of passionfruit is bound for the Netherlands.

At the ceremony celebrating the milestone Le Quoc Doanh, Vietnam’s deputy minister of agriculture and rural development, thanked the work Dong Giao had done to produce this batch of passionfruit and the work it has done to develop passionfruit production and exports in Vietnam.

Doanh said this achievement was representative of Vietnam’s efforts to expand its passionfruit exports, which he said had increased 300 per cent in the last five years.

He said Vietnam has already been able to secure access to markets, such as Europe, with strict quality and quarantine protocols; something that should the MARD in good stead as it looks to negotiate access to more markets including Australia, China, Japan and Thailand.