Rong Do Company exports first batch of litchis to Australia, US

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 17:00

The fruit underwent the standard irradiation treatment before being exported to the market. American officials and Australian traders oversaw the shipment process in HCM City. — Illustrative image/ File Photo

HCM CITY (Biz Hub) — Rong Do Company has become the first Vietnamese company to ship litchis to Australia with its first shipment of more than three tones of the fruit shipping to the country last week.

The company is also the second company to export litchis to the US.

The fruit underwent the standard irradiation treatment before being exported to the market. American officials and Australian traders oversaw the shipment process in HCM City.

Last week, another Vietnamese company, Anh Duong Sao, exported Viet Nam's first shipment of GlobalGap-standard litchis to the US market.

Mai Xuan Thin, director of Rong Do Company, said: "In order to have the first shipment of litchis shipped to Australia and US, our company began working on this project three months ago."

He said he had visited litchi cultivation areas authorised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and selected farmers to participate in the programme.

"We built the packaging factory at the site. The factory has been certified to meet quality for packaged fruit exported to the US," he said.

"The buyers told me that if the fruit has good quality and price, they would import 15 to 20 tonnes every week. I believe that we have enough resources to export since the total volume of litchi output in Viet Nam is more than 200,000 tonnes," Thin said.

The Son Son company said it could treat 80 tonnes of fruits within a 24-hour period.

Thin said the ministry might work with enterprises in the near future to allow exports of mango, dragonfruit, rambutan and longan to the Austrian market.

The Rong Do Company said it was working with its partner to export coconuts to Australia. It also plans to export mango, dragonfruit, rambutan and longan at a later date. Thailand is currently the largest supplier of coconuts to Australia.

Robert Guillermo, pre-clearance specialist with the US Department of Agriculture, who inspected the shipment yesterday, said the litchi quality met the standards for export to the US market.

"It is fresh and sweet, and meets the quality standard," he said. "We have had two previous shipments sent to the US. They were the same quality as this one," Guillermo said.

Viet Nam also exports dragonfruit, longan and rambutan to the US.

"I think mango, mangosteen and guava could be shipped to the US in the future," he said. "We started shipping dragonfruit in 2008. The shipment volume is more than 10 times than we first started, almost 2 million kilos a year."

He predicted that the volume of litchis exported to the US would increase sharply in the near future, depending on the state of the US economy.

Alex Alexopoulos, national sales manager for PanasiaFresh, which imports litchis from Viet Nam and sells them in Australia, said he was satisfied with the quality of the litchis in Viet Nam and that the packaging facility was very good.

All of the litchis will be sold in wholesale markets and supermarkets in Australia.

After this first shipment, his company plans to buy as much as possible if customers in Australia like the Vietnamese litchis.

"We hope this season we can import 15 to 20 tonnes of litchis every week for distribution in Australia," Alex said, adding his company also plans to import coconut, mango and dragonfruit from Viet Nam.

He said that he hoped that his company would be able to export carrots and oranges to Viet Nam in the future. — VNS

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