VOV.VN - Vietnamese enterprises have been advised to develop raw material areas which fall in line with EU regulations in order to make further inroads into the demanding market, according to industry insiders.
Vietnam is the third largest rice exporter in the world, but gaining a firm foothold in the EU market is a hard nut to crack for local rice businesses.
Tran Van Cong, Vietnamese agricultural counselor to the EU, pointed out that the EU is not a major consumer of Vietnamese rice as the bloc only sets a quota of 80,000 tonnes of rice annually imported from Vietnam under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). Vietnamese businesses have therefore stuck to the determination since the trade pact came into effect in August 2020.
Despite efforts to boost rice exports to the EU, Cong said Vietnamese enterprises have not yet fully exploited the quota of 30,000 tonnes of milled rice and 30,000 tonnes of fragrant rice that the EU has granted to Vietnam.
In addition, Cong revealed that there remain several hurdles in applying for certification of fragrant rice, leading to a limited quantity of the rice variety in the market.
To stay firm in the EU, the trade counselor underlined the importance of ensuring the source of raw materials which fully meet the criteria set by EU regulations, including the maximum of pesticide residues placed on imported rice.
He also advised Vietnamese businesses to closely work alongside major importing partners in the EU, such as Germany, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands, to choose the appropriate delivery time and develop rice brand in the market.
Vietnamese rice has been exported to the EU through some major partners in Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and France, and it is still limited in other countries.
At present, Germany remains the largest importer of Vietnamese rice, which is distributed to restaurants, supermarkets, and the retail supermarket systems of the Asian community, or alternatively shipped to other countries.