Western Australia (WA), the largest State of Australia imposes strict controls on plant quarantine and food safety and hygiene.
Since the Australian Government Department of Agriculture decided to permit imports of Vietnam’s fresh lychees in 2015, customers in the sunny southern continent have had a chance to taste delicious fresh lychees whenever the harvest season begins in Vietnam.
Hoang Luat, owner of a company which specializes in the import and export of goods and operates a chain of five MCQ supermarkets selling Asian products in Western Australia, says his company has bought 4.5 tons of fresh lychees from Vietnam since late May. Despite higher prices compared to other types of fruit (around 13-14 AUD per kilo), fresh lychees are popular purchases.
Tran Thi Thuy Van, an overseas Vietnamese in Western Australia, says Vietnamese lychees are much sought after by Vietnamese nationals as they are of a better quality than the Chinese fruit. Many people consider Vietnamese fruit as something of a luxury goods, she adds.
Tran Thi Anh Dung, another overseas Vietnamese, says lychees are greatly favoured by numerous Vietnamese and Australian people. The quality of the product is still in good condition after the long transportation distance thanks to the advanced preservation methods used.
While Australia has opened its doors to Vietnam’s fresh lychees, imports of the fruit remain modest. Importers have to choose supplies of high quality fruit and meet stringent quarantine requirements in both nations. In addition, transporting the product via air pushes the price of fresh lychees to an even higher level, making them more of a luxury purchase than an everyday fruit.