Vietnam is a tropical country, all four seasons have fragrant flowers and sweet fruits. In particular, lychee has long become not only a specialty cuisine that is admired by many visitors from far and wide, but also a messenger of peace and friendship, once selected as a unique item to serve the local communities international diplomatic activities.
Vietnam’s lychee production is mainly grown in a number of northern provinces such as Bac Giang, Hai Duong, Hung Yen… In which, Bac Giang is considered as the “capital of lychee” with high-quality lychees grown in high quality in the Luc Ngan region. Luc Ngan Bac Giang lychee is not only popular throughout the country but also conquers some fastidious markets in the world. To achieve that, Vietnamese lychee had to pass strict standards to be able to appear in supermarkets of other countries.
Step by step conquering difficult markets
Each year, Vietnam has about 50% of the total lychee output exported to nearly 30 countries and territories around the world. Vietnamese lychees are mainly exported to China, but also present in fastidious markets such as the US, EU, Canada, Australia…
In 2015, in addition to domestic consumption and traditional export markets such as China and ASEAN countries, for the first time Vietnam’s lychee was exported to two fastidious markets, the US and Australia. For lychee fruit to appear on supermarket shelves in these two countries, it took Vietnam more than 10 years to complete the technical stages, meet all the conditions and negotiate successfully.
In the same year, Vietnam added new markets such as the UK, France, Malaysia and Japan. The first batch of lychee with a weight of more than 500kg of fresh lychee exported to France was sold out in less than 3 days with the listed price of 9.9 Euro/kg (about 240,000/kg at the time rate). The first lychee export to France in the year has reached a total volume of more than 2 tons.
However, with the Japanese market, it takes Vietnam another 5 years of negotiations to bring lychee into this market. Thus, after many efforts, in the litchi season in 2020, Vietnamese lychee can be present in a new market, although it is difficult, but has great potential, because the lychees sold at supermarkets in Japan have high potential amazingly high prices.
Strict standards of lychee when exporting
According to experts, to get quality lychee products into high-demand markets, also known as “fastidious” markets, requires farmers, technicians, businesses and agencies. State management must work together to build a chain of strict and closed processes from soil selection, plant care to processing and consumption.Lychee usually ripens in a short period of time from May to July every year. With large output and short harvest time, it is necessary to connect trade, expand available market share, find new markets and diversify distribution channels for convenient consumption.
In addition to the important issue of ensuring the safety and quality of litchi, businesses also need to pay attention to ensuring the fastest time to harvest and transport to the factory to ensure the freshness of the lychee, usually harvested in the summer. Early in the morning, right after harvesting, it will be packed and processed to keep its freshness.
To be able to export with high economic value, after harvest, lychee must also meet high quality standards such as:
– Shape: Must ensure the shape of the fruit, the fruit must be fresh, full and develop normally, not crushed or bruised. The length of fruit stalks must reach the allowable level as agreed in the contract when buying and selling products.
– Weight: When cutting at the largest horizontal surface, the diameter must meet the standards committed in the sales contract and must not be less than 25 mm. Not more than 65 fruits out of a total weight of 1kg, the stalk of the fabric should not be more than 5mm long and be broken at the natural knot of the stem.
– Ripeness: The color of the rind must be fresh, the color of the rind should be pink or red evenly throughout the rind. The flesh of the fruit must have a quality with a characteristic aroma of lychee. When eaten, the sweet taste is rich, the flesh is fresh and succulent. The total soluble solids content of the juice is not less than 17%.
Besides, depending on the contractual requirements of the countries, the standards for each lychee will be different.
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