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- Enter the dragon fruit: Australia beckons Vietnamese growers
Vietnamese dragon fruit growers have long sought to enter the Australian market and now the door is almost open.
Australia sent a working team to Vietnam in June last year to review biosecurity import requirements for fresh dragon fruit. Australian agricultural officials have recently released the final report on the quality of fresh dragon fruit from Vietnam, the Australian embassy in Hanoi said in press release on Friday.
“The Australian government will continue working with Vietnamese counterparts in the next steps to give market access for fresh dragon fruit imports from Vietnam,” said Ambassador Craig Chittick.
Vietnam exported more than 1 million tons of dragon fruit last year. As the fruit can stay fresh up to 40 days, it is mainly shipped to foreign markets by sea at transport costs ranging from 2 to 3 U.S. cents per kilogram. Low transport costs make Vietnamese fresh dragon fruit more competitive in Australia.
Consumers in markets such as the U.S, Australia, Canada and Japan have been more interested in Vietnamese tropical fruits in recent years.
The country last year exported more than 10 tons of lychees to Australia, according to the Vietnam Trade Office under the Vietnamese Embassy in Australia, adding that the customer base for the fruit has quickly expanded.
Vietnam shipped its first lychees to Australia and the U.S. in 2015. Even though the volume was small, just 35 tons in total, this was seen as a significant step.
Industry experts said Vietnam would boost fruit exports in the years to come if the country can meet strict standards set by these demanding markets.
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