Pepper producers must spice up products

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 14:41

VPA predicts that pepper exports this year will fall 21 per cent compared to 2012.—Illustrative image/VNS File Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub)— For six years, Vietnamese pepper has held about 50 per cent of global market share, but pepper products still fail to meet their potential, said Do Ha Nam, chairman of the Viet Nam Pepper Association.


Actually, 95 per cent of unprocessed exported pepper is exported through three major importers - India, China and the United States, As a result, Vietnamese pepper is often sold under a foreign trademark, said Nam.

He said the Viet Nam pepper association should focus on three measures to raise its trademark and export value.

First, the difference in price between white and black pepper has reached 70 per cent, therefore, local pepper farmers should shift to white pepper to enhance profits.

Secondly, pepper exporters needed to produce pepper under ASTA (American Spice Trade Association).

Viet Nam is now home to 10 pepper manufacturers tied to ASTA. Five of them are foreign-invested companies. Vietnamese pepper sold under ASTA accounted for only 15 per cent of exports to the EU and US markets.

Lastly, domestic producers needed to spur exports of pepper powder. Local producers claim they lack export partners.

In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should to develop a map of zoning area for pepper plantation. The Ministry should soon outline pepper cultivation process to grow pepper tree under VietGAP standards.

The major pepper growing regions, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Ba Ria- Vung Tau , Dak Nong and Gia Lai, do not have a trademark for pepper products, apart from the Chu Se trademark in Gia Lai Province.

As a result, domestic pepper products always suffer in comparison to other pepper exporting countries.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, from the beginning of this year, local pepper producers exported 56,000 tonnes of pepper, earning an export turnover of US$370 million.

The volume rose 14.7 per cent in volume and 17 per cent in value over the same period last year, achieving the highest record.

Black pepper for export sells for $6,621 per tonne or a decrease of 3.4 per cent over the same period last year.

According to the VPA's statistics, last year, the price of Vietnamese black pepper was $295 per tonne lower than the global price. But it was $389 per tonne lower in the first three months.

The price of white pepper was $8,750 per tonne in 2012. Over the first three months, white pepper fetched an average price of between $8,742-$8,874 per tonne or it is between $450-500 lower than the world pepper price.

Do Ha Nam attributed the declining pepper price to psychological factors. Farmers often want to sell their harvest pepper right after they harvested.

In addition, pepper exporters also strongly increased the volume of pepper for export, thus lowering export pepper prices.

VPA predicts that pepper exports this year will fall 21 per cent compared to 2012. — VNS

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