One kilogram of garlic, for example, is sold at VND50,000 in Vietnam, or US$3. Meanwhile, if the garlic is processed and fermented in accordance with Japanese formula, the selling price could be up to US$150 per kilo.
Vietnam’s tuna has the selling price lower than Japan’s. While it takes Japanese fishermen 2-3 days to conduct a fishing trip to the open sea, it takes Vietnamese fishing boats 3 days at least to reach to the fishing grounds.
And Vietnamese fishermen will need another 3 days before coming back ashore. This means that tuna needs to be protected in ice for one week.
The lack of modern processing technologies forces Vietnamese to sell their farm produce at the rock-bottom prices.
Some days ago, dragon fruit was seen piled up on the pavements in HCM City and sold dirt cheap at VND5,000-7,000 per kilo.
Now in Hanoi, lychee, which is in high harvesting season, is priced at VND15,000 per kilo. Farmers have to sell lychee away, because if they don’t sell right now, the fruit will become rotten.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s dragon fruit is a favorite in the world market. An expert said some countries import Vietnam’s dragon fruit and can make more than 10 products. In Thailand, fruits can be processed into many different types of sweets and jams.
To date, the majority of Vietnam’s fruits have been exported either as fresh or preliminarily treated products. Baby corn, for example, is exported to other countries in bags. Meanwhile, the importers, after re-packing, will sell the products under their brands.
Potential left unexploited
Reports all show the great development potential of the Vietnam’s food and beverage processing industry. The high population of 90 million is the solid fundamental for the development of food services and guarantee for the consumption of processed food.
In 2015, the consumption of food and drinks in the domestic market reached US$40 billion, or 71 percent of the total production value, while the remaining was for export.
Utilizing modern technologies to process food and beverages to heighten the value of farm produce is an urgent task that Vietnamese enterprises need to do to compete with the imports.
Therefore, the food, beverage and machinery exhibition like VietFood & Beverage and ProPack scheduled to take place in mid-August, is very useful for Vietnamese enterprises.
According to Grant Thornton Vietnam, in 2015, food processing and beverages was one of the two industries which attracted the most investment.
The industry witnessed a growth rate of 34 percent in investment, a slight increase compared with 33 percent the year before.