A farmer tends to mango trees at a farm in Loc Hung commune of Loc Ninh district, southern Binh Phuoc province (Photo: VNA)
At a workshop held in Hanoi on August 7, participants called on businesses to increase the export of organic products since more and more consumers in the EU have preferred food produced and processed through natural methods.
Do Kim Lang, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), said with tropical agriculture advantages and strong integration into the world economy, Vietnam is able to produce a diversity of agricultural products with high nutritional and commercial value.
As of the end of June 2018, Vietnam had had more than 10 key farm produce for export. These products have been present in over 160 countries and territories, including major markets like the US, the EU and Japan.
Some products have brought home over US$1 billion in export revenue, including coffee, rice, cashew nut, fruit and vegetables, and pepper. In the world rankings, Vietnam respectively ranks first, second and third in exporting pepper, coffee and rice, Lang noted.
However, because of limited processing capacity and a lack of strong brand names, the export turnover of agricultural and food products has yet to match export volume, he said, adding that export profit has also been reduced due to many intermediary steps.
He said the integration process also poses big challenges to businesses when they have to face protection measures in the form of technical barriers, including stricter safety and quality standards and tightened examination procedures, in import markets.
Tran Ngoc Quan, Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Department of European and American Markets, said European markets have high demand for agricultural products, especially tropical ones, but they also impose strict requirements for product quality and food safety.
He asked Vietnamese exporters to have a good grasp of Vietnam and partner countries’ commitments in trade deals, actively seek chances for cooperation with foreign partners, join global supply chains, and improve their workers’ skills and productivity.
They should overhaul production processes so that fruit and vegetables satisfy HACCP or GlobalGAP standards and are eligible for export to the EU. It is also necessary to develop concentrated farming areas and apply advanced preservation and processing technologies to meet importers’ requirements, experts said.