Mr. Nguyen Huu Dat from the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association confirmed with VET that red-flesh dragon fruit will be exported to the tough Japanese market shortly. “The official announcement was made by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during the visit to Hanoi by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on January 16 and 17,” he said.
This is the second Vietnamese fruit to be licensed for export to Japan, following mangoes. Like mangoes, the red-fresh dragon fruit must also be steam-treated before being exported, to counteract fruit flies.
The Vietnamese exporters are still to be officially named but Mr. Dat predicted they would be Ho Chi Minh City’s GoodLife, Binh Thuan province’s Hong An, Binh Duong province’s Fine Fruit Asia and Yasaka, and Long An province’s Hoang Phat Fruit, as they have factories with steam treatment systems that meet Japanese regulations.
Earlier, Australian agriculture officials released their final report on the quality of fresh dragon fruit from Vietnam, according to the Australian Embassy in Vietnam. The first shipments will reach Australian shores sometime this year.
Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources finished its draft report on dragon fruit imports from Vietnam and a 60-day period for feedback and discussion was then in place before the final step of allowing the imports was taken by the Australian Government. Australia will allow imports from all dragon fruit-growing regions in Vietnam as long as the fruit meets the country’s biological safety standards.
Vietnam exported more than 10 tons of lychees to Australia last year, according to the Vietnam Trade Office at the Vietnamese Embassy in Australia. The first consignments were shipped to Australia and the US in 2015, even though the volume was small, at just 35 tons in total.
Dragon fruit has the highest export value among Vietnam’s fruit and is expected to be one of nine key export fruit in the future. Export volumes to the US, however, remain small as a great deal comes from China via unofficial channels. Official exports account for 2-3 per cent of the total, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.