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Strategy needed to promote Vietnamese agricultural products in EU market

27/12/2021    42

The European Commission has just issued a decision to increase the frequency of inspection for Vietnamese dragon fruit export shipments from 10% to 20%.

The EU market has increasingly focused on importing organic fruit and vegetable products, applying strict standards on food safety and hygiene, upholding social and environmental responsibility, as well as business ethics.

Therefore, it is necessary to develop a strategy to promote the export of Vietnamese agricultural products to the EU towards positioning a new brand of Vietnamese agriculture.

On December 15, 2021, the EC issued Regulation (EU) 2021/2246 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1793 on the temporary increase of official controls and emergency measures governing the entry into the Union of specific goods from certain countries.

Specifically, based on the EU members’ test results for pesticide residue contamination of Vietnamese dragon fruit imported into the EU market, the EC raised the frequency of testing for Vietnam's dragon fruit shipments to 20%, up 10% compared to the previous announcement on November 15.

In the group of agricultural products, dragon fruit is the only item subjected to an increase in the frequency of pesticide testing, according to the EC's announcement. Other agricultural products keep the same frequency, such as: coriander 50%, basil 50%, mint 50%, parsley 50%, okra 50% and pepper 50%.

Periodically, every six months, the EC will review the lists of food and feedstuffs of non-animal origin from certain countries subjected to a temporary increase of official controls and emergency measures at border checkpoints to ensure food safety.

Over the recent years, the output and value of Vietnam’s vegetable, fruit and vegetable exports to the EU have made many positive developments, with an average annual growth of nearly 20%. According to the Vietnam Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority and Enquiry Point (SPS Vietnam Office), Vietnam's agricultural exports are benefiting from the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Some products such as passion fruit, longan, litchi, mangosteen, jackfruit, guava, spices and sweet potato, have all penetrated the EU market quite quickly. However, Vietnamese vegetables and fruits exports to the EU still face many difficulties and challenges due to the lack of synchronisation and linkages in production, the lack of large-scale production areas to ensure quality as well as stable supplies.

The increased inspection frequency of dragon fruit, from January 6, 2022, will be a challenge for large dragon fruit granaries in Binh Thuan and Long An province.

On December 24, SPS Vietnam Office sent a notice to the Plant Protection Department, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Science and Technology Department, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to recommended that these two agencies strengthen inspection of manufacturers.

SPS Vietnam Office noted that it is necessary to review stages in the management chain, clarify the causes and propose solutions for Vietnam to request the EU to withdraw the measures mentioned in Regulation No (EU) 2021/2246 in the near future.

Deputy Director of SPS Vietnam Office Ngo Xuan Nam said that if relevant agencies actively, synchronously and effectively control the situation, SPS Vietnam Office will propose to the EC a reduction in inspection frequency at its next meeting.

According to Nam, the EU market has increasingly focused on importing organic fruit and vegetable products, applying strict standards on food safety and hygiene, upholding social and environmental responsibility, as well as business ethics.

Therefore, the strategy to promote the export of Vietnamese agricultural products to the EU needs to be comprehensively developed, moving towards a new brand of Vietnamese agriculture that is transparent, responsible and sustainable.

In addition to dragon fruit, instant noodles, another product originating from Vietnam, has also had its inspection frequency increased by 20%.

Source: Nhan Dan Online