Exporting fruit to the United States still faces many challenges

12/06/2024    76

The US market has over 330 million people with large consumption power, and is a key market for agricultural products and food, including seasonal fruits. However, compared to countries exporting to the United States, especially countries in the Americas, Vietnam's export products still face many challenges.

Potential fruit consumption market

Mr. Do Ngoc Hung, Head of the Vietnam Trade Office in the United States, informed that in 2023, the United States will import fresh and frozen vegetables worth about USD 20 billion, of which mainly berries (USD 4.3 billion, avocados (USD 2.98 billion), bananas (USD 2.76 billion), grapes (USD 2.49 billion), citrus fruits (USD 1.89 billion), strawberries (USD 1.49 billion) …

The US market still has much room for Vietnamese fruits to expand and develop. This is a huge fruit consumption market with diverse needs, increasingly focusing on healthy vegetables and organic foods, especially out-of-season fruits and tropical fruits, but domestic production is limited.

According to statistics from the General Department of Customs, in the first 4 months of the year, fruit and vegetable exports to the United States reached USD 93 million, an increase of 33% over the same period in 2023.

According to Mr. Do Ngoc Hung, the current distribution system of the US market is very diverse with many distribution channels such as supermarkets, farmers' markets, grocery stores, e-commerce, in addition to its diversity and openness in a culture that motivates consumers to want to test new, specialty, nutritious products for health, especially tropical fruits.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese businesses have more and more experience exporting to the United States and always receive the companionship of state management agencies.

As for fruits, Vietnam currently has 8 types of fresh fruits allowed to be imported into the United States including dragon fruit, mango, longan, lychee, rambutan, star apple, grapefruit, and coconut.

Fruit imported into the United States is governed by various regulations and laws such as the Plant Protection Act, the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Food Quality Protection Act, and the Food Safety Protection Program as well as plant protection and quarantine.

“The United States requires agricultural and food exporters to register their production facilities and register a representative in the United States to act as a contact point. Every 2 years, foreign businesses exporting food products to the US must re-register the production facility and the representative will be granted a valid business code for the product," Mr. Do Ngoc Hung said that fruit growing and processing areas must ensure compliance with standards such as GlobalGAP, environmental certificates, ISO, HACCP, USDA, if there are pesticide residues, they will not be registered in the United States. , they are not contaminated with microorganisms, bacteria, mold; the harvesting process must ensure that it does not affect the quality of the fruit.

Challenge of geographical distance

According to the Vietnam Trade Office in the United States, compared to countries exporting to the United States, especially countries in the Americas, Vietnam's export products face a number of difficulties and challenges such as: seasonality, short harvest time, fresh products spoil quickly; Long geographical distances increase shipping time and costs. Along with that is increased competition from South American and Asian markets with the same products.

In addition, preservation technology is still limited, products undergo temperature changes through irradiation, so the original quality cannot be maintained, and freshness is greatly reduced after the goods arrive at port. The scale of domestic production is still small, making it difficult to meet the quantity and requirements from importers. Businesses have not invested properly in packaging, design and promotion in the US market.

To increase exports to this market, the Vietnam Trade Office in the United States recommends that localities and businesses need to increase the added value of seasonal fruits, adding processed products such as dried fruit and fruit powder. Plants and canned products can be consumed all year round. Applying new technology helps prolong fruit preservation time.

At the same time, build a master plan to implement methodically, synchronously with highlights and persistently the promotion and trade of seasonal fruits, build stories associated with fruits, and fact exploit images in growing areas, organizing product introduction booths at Vietnamese and Asian markets...

For logistics units, encourage promoting the strengths of the infrastructure system, optimizing the specialized logistics model for agricultural products for export; join hands to support transportation businesses to reduce shipping costs for seasonal fruits on peak occasions from Vietnam to the United States and other markets.

In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development discussed and negotiated with US authorities to allow the application of other quarantine treatment measures such as hot steam treatment to reduce costs and maximize Use existing resources and equipment.

Source: Customs News