Making news

Vietnam tries to get US export licence for avocados

Vietnam is in the process of getting a licence to export avocado to the US, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in the US.

The Vietnam Trade Office’s branch in San Francisco (US) said avocados are mainly sold at big supermarkets with large volumes, so they must meet the high requirements of the US market. Avocado distribution companies must be responsible for controlling the stages of a supply chain, from production to distribution, while exporters need to have sufficient quality certificates.

To enter the US market, avocados must meet the minimum requirements of the regulations on maturity, colour and weight. Avocados must be intact, clean and without insects.

Therefore, small-scale exporters often face many difficulties in accessing this market due to lack of experience or linkage with supply chains. In addition, the process of transporting avocados from farms to the market is a huge challenge.

It said Vietnam currently has many avocado varieties with harvest time across almost the whole year. However, the value of Vietnamese avocado is still low due to limitations in production, including limitations of applying science and technology for production, fragmented production scale, and lack of branding and geographical indications.

Therefore, to export avocado to the US, Vietnam must require exporters ensure they have quality certificates, establish trust with partners in the supply chain by strong commitment on quality and information transparency in implementing export contracts.

If Vietnam’s farmers have qualified production as well as suitable investment and market approaches for avocados, they can gain high turnover from exporting this kind of fruit to a difficult market like the US, the office said.

According to a US survey on avocado consumption, the US in 2018 spent 2.35 billion USD importing 1.04 million tonnes of avocados. About 51 percent of households in the US consume avocados with average spending of 24.5 USD each year, the office reported.

Avocado trees are planted in certain geographical regions. China and Thailand are major exporters of agricultural products but avocado trees are not suitable for planting. Avocado trees are popular in Vietnam and it has the potential to supply this kind of fruit to the US.

Before that, Vietnam spent 10 years to get a licence for exporting mangoes to the US.

Avocado growing countries include Mexico, Indonesia, Spain, Brazil, Peru, Chile, South Africa and some other South American countries.

In Vietnam, avocado trees are now grown in many provinces and cities, but concentrated in the Central Highlands region with a total area of 8,000 ha.

Dak Lak province is the largest producer in Vietnam with a total area of over 4,300 ha. Following are Dak Nong with an area of nearly 2,600 ha, Lam Dong and Gia Lai provinces.

In recent years, the Central Highlands avocados have been available in markets and supermarkets in Vietnam and also exported to China.