Best fruits reserved for exports, lower quality for domestic market
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam earns billions of dollars from fruits exported to the US, Japan, South Korea and Australia, while lower quality fruit is sold in the domestic market.
Vietnam spent $1.55 billion to import vegetables and fruits
Of $3.51 billion worth of vegetable and fruit exports in 2017, fresh fruits made up 75 percent, or $2.63 billion.
However, Vietnam spent more than $1.55 billion to import vegetables and fruits, an increase of 68 percent over the year before.
Nguyen Dinh Tung, general director of Vina T&T, which specializes in exporting fruits to the US, said that best fruits are reserved for export, and it is nearly impossible for Vietnamese to buy the products.
Tung, who has joined many programs that help connect farmers and suppliers, said there are many kinds of Vietnamese specialty fruits that Vietnamese consumers don’t know about.
High-quality fruits are reserved for export only as they can satisfy requirements of choosy markets.
Vietnam’s fruits are mostly sold in the domestic market, about 80 percent of total output. They are distributed mostly through traditional markets as 90 percent of consumers buy fruits there.
According to MARD (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), Vietnam’s fruits are mostly sold in the domestic market, about 80 percent of total output. They are distributed mostly through traditional markets as 90 percent of consumers buy fruits there.
Supermarkets and fruits shops serve a very small proportion of consumers, mostly located in Hanoi and HCMC.
Nguyen The Bao, director of Suoi Lon Trade & Tourism Cooperative, specializing in mango distribution, said a certain amount of products are sold directly to supermarkets and enterprises, while the remaining is sold to merchants for wholesale and retail.
He said that the domestic fruit market is ruled by merchants. In general, merchants set very high selling prices to optimize their profits.
“The Vietnamese market is unfair for farmers and consumers,” he said, adding that consumers have to buy at prices much higher than what farmers sell to merchants.
Experts have urged re-organizing the distribution chain by cutting intermediary links to ensure better profit for farmers and more reasonable selling prices for consumers.
Realizing that the demand for high-quality fruits in the domestic market is increasing rapidly, some exporters have begun thinking of exploiting the market.
According to Tung, not all export products can go for good prices. “At some moments, the prices of our exports to the US are even lower than the wholesale prices at some large traditional markets,” he said.
He said that the company plans to open the shops in HCMC specializing in selling high-end products that meet standards for export.
Do Quoc Huy, marketing director of Saigon Co-op, said the supermarket chain is following a policy which prioritizes Vietnamese safe fruits. Ninety percent of fruits available are grown in Vietnam, while the remaining 10 percent are imports.