According to Mr. Hoang Quang Phong, after a long lockdown to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, at present, the demand for goods and food, especially vegetables and fruits, in the market of EU is extremely huge. “Consumer demand for new tropical fruits and vegetables in the EU has increased significantly. Specifically, fresh fruits and vegetables increased by around 20-25% and processed products increased by more than 30%,” the VCCI Vice President said.
Though considered to have many advantages, VCCI vice president says Vietnamese fruits and vegetables have not taken advantage of EU market opportunities, accounting for just less than 1% of demand of the market. Besides the limitations of unbalanced product structure, unstable production and unstable quality, Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises also face difficulties in accessing the European market, such as lack of information and human resources to meet the requirements of European Quality Standards and lack of capacity to access this market.
Therefore, Oxfam and VCCI collaborated to develop a project aimed at building the export capacity of small and medium enterprises in the vegetable and spice industry in Vietnam. The project has been 80% funded by the EU for implementation in 2022 and 2023.
During the seminar, many companies said they want to obtain information to promote the export of agricultural products, especially vegetables and spices, to the demanding market which still has a lot of room with high selling prices. However, companies face difficulties in harvesting, processing and preservation technology, as well as in complying with food safety and quality regulations and finding partners.
According to Ms. Vu Thi Quynh Hoa, Director of Oxfam in Vietnam, the more specific objective is to empower vegetable, fruit and spice exporters, provide them with intensive support programs, update information on quality standards and regulations on EVFTA, at the same time, support digital transformation so that Vietnamese small and medium enterprises can increase their exports of these products to the EU.
In 2022, Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports to the EU are expected to increase by 10-15% according to the Import-Export Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, thanks to the good use of EVFTA. Currently, the volume of fruit and vegetable imports into the EU market is around 100 billion dollars per year.