Origin traceability needed to boost exports to the EU28/06/2020The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will offer a wide range of opportunities for Vietnamese farm produce exports, including fruit and vegetable exports to the EU, but exporters must first satisfy the goods’ origin traceability standard.
The EU has become the fourth largest importer of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits, after China, the US and Japan. The EVFTA will help Vietnam improve the competitiveness of its fruits and vegetables in the EU, compared to products of the same kind from other countries, as soon as the agreement takes effect this summer.
Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exports to the EU must meet strict standards
The EU is one of the most discerning markets with strict technical barriers and regulations on pesticide residues and banned substances, among others. Dang Phuc Nguyen, Secretary General of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (Vinafruit), said vegetable and fruit products must meet the EU’s pesticide residue standard. Origin traceability is required for the import of fresh fruits and vegetables so exporters must show origin traceability documentation upon fruit and vegetable export to the EU, Nguyen said.
Filip Graovac, Asia Foundation Deputy Country Representative in Vietnam, said Vietnam has much to offer export markets, and many new opportunities will be provided by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EVFTA, but it must improve its origin traceability. “Vietnam has good products and responsible producers, but a matter of concern is how to introduce these strengths to buyers abroad,” Graovac said.
Origin traceability is challenging the fruit and vegetable industry’s growth. The Australian government decided to fund an origin traceability and export promotion project for Vietnamese farm produce. The project will promote coffee, pepper, mango, ceramics and rattan and bamboo products in 2020 and 2021, and is expected to boost 13 key Vietnamese exports and all other products of the One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program throughout the country.
Businesses need to satisfy environmental standards and worker welfare standards apart from obtaining GlobalGAP (Global Good Agricultural Practices) and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certifications if they are to boost exports to the EU, said Vina T&T General Director Nguyen Dinh Tung.
The 500-million-consumer EU community is a large, stable and potential market, accounting for 45 percent of the global trade in fresh fruits and vegetables. Origin traceability is compared to an entry visa to the EU for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables.
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