Vietnam yet to receive any UK warning on dragon fruit: official hinh anh 1

Nam said that Vietnam’s dragon fruit exports to the UK remain normal although some supermarkets in the country suspended the sale of the fruit amid concerns that the imported fruit may contain pesticide residues.

So far, the Vietnam SPS Office received only a notice from UK authorities on a proposal about moving Vietnamese dragon fruits from Appendix II (for products subject to being tested and granted a food safety certificate in exporting countries before being exported) to Appendix I (for products that must be verified and re-inspected at a 50% frequency at destination ports before being imported).

“It’s just a proposal now,” Nam said.

The suspension of the fruit sale in some supermarkets can be part of their business plan and possibly not link to the authorities’ inspection plan, Nam said. 

On July 17, the office received an official dispatch from the Department of Quality, Processing, and Market Development regarding the UK's plan to strengthen safety inspections for dragon fruit.

On July 26, the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development sent an official dispatch responding to the proposal to amend regulations related to food safety inspection of Vietnamese dragon fruit in the UK.

On August 2, the Vietnam SPS Office contacted the UK SPS, suggesting it keep the frequency of testing Vietnam's dragon fruit until the two sides have sufficient evidence.

The Vietnamese side called on the UK side to provide Vietnamese competent authorities with risk assessment records which they base on to propose the testing frequency changes for Vietnamese dragon fruit.

Currently, the Vietnam SPS Office is waiting for a response from the UK authorities.

According to the office, from 2020 to July 2023, Vietnam exported 625 tonnes of dragon fruit to the UK while exporting to the EU market about 2,000 tonnes yearly./.VNA