Vietnamese pomelo headed for US supermarket shelves
The Plant Protection Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said that following many rounds of negotiations and technical discussions, the department and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) under the US Department of Agriculture have completed the drafting of an export plan on plant quarantine requirements for pomelo exports from Vietnam to the US.
Pomelo will be the seventh Vietnamese fresh fruit eligible for export to the US
To facilitate the export of Vietnamese pomelos to the US, the Plant Protection Department consulted the departments of agriculture and rural development of provinces and cities, the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association, and organizations and individuals producing and exporting fresh fruit.
At the same time, the Plant Protection Department asked local departments of agriculture and rural development to provide guidance for relevant divisions to check pomelo growing areas, as well as for organizations and individuals wanting to export pomelos to the US to prepare registration files and submit them to the Plant Protection Department before May 10, 2022.
At a recent meeting with US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan asked the US to assist Vietnam in preservation technology to ensure the quality of its pomelos for export to the US.
Ambassador Knapper agreed with this request, saying that improving the quality of farm produce will benefit not only Vietnam but also US consumers. He believes US consumers will be very happy having access to Vietnamese pomelos.
If accepted, pomelo will be the seventh Vietnamese fresh fruit eligible for export to the US. The US had already licensed the import of Vietnamese fresh mangoes, longans, lychees, dragon fruit and star apples. Some other types of fruit such as coconut and durian are also exported to the US but in frozen form.
The Vietnam Trade Office in the US listed the US among potential markets for Vietnamese fruit, with 332 million consumers, relatively high incomes and awareness of fruit and vegetable importance to their nutrition.
According to the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the US has a modern, multi-channel distribution system. The diversity and openness of the American culture inspire consumers to experience new products, opening export opportunities for Vietnam’s tropical fruit and vegetables. Moreover, Vietnamese products still account for a low percentage of American fruit and vegetable imports, promising opportunities for Vietnamese companies to increase their share in this market.
The MARD said that after pomelo, the US will consider opening its market for Vietnamese fresh coconut. If pomelo exports to the US are accepted, the pressure on farm produce sales will decrease, especially in the context of difficult exports to China. Therefore, the MARD urged companies capable of exporting to the US to work with Vietnamese plant quarantine units in order to complete necessary preparations.
Vietnam currently has pomelo planting areas totaling 105,400ha, yielding nearly 950,000 tonnes of fruit annually. The opening of the US market for pomelo will open opportunities for other types of Vietnamese fruit on US shelves.
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