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Coffee, cashew nut and pepper from Vietnam on shelves of UK's big supermarkets

These are among the main agriculture products of Vietnam, which have many advantages to export and conquer customers in the UK and other countries.

Cashew nut processing in a factory in Binh Phuoc province.

According to Vietnam Trade Office in the UK, the country is a big market for export agriculture products. In 2020, UK imported more than 6.7 million tons of vegetables and fruits worth nearly 6.4 billion pounds (around US$ 9 billion). Among that, vegetables and fruits from Vietnam accounted for nearly US$ 11.6 million, that meant around 0.18% of market shares.

Also in that year, the UK imported 3.6 million tons of fruits worth 3.9 billion pounds (around US$ 5.4 billion). Banana is the number one among the imported fruits, accounts for 29.5% and mainly comes from Colombia and Costa Rica. The second biggest by imported amounts is grape with 12% of market shares, mainly comes from South Africa and Spain. The third biggest are orange, tangerines and other citrus fruits, mainly come from Spain and Peru.

In 2020, rice imported by the UK reached 762,526 tons, in which Vietnam’s rice accounts for 3,396 tons, worth US$ 1.3 million and equivalent to 0.45% of market shares.

The UK is the third biggest market of cashew nut in term of import and the second biggest in term of consuming in Europe. In 2020, it imported 23,000 tons and cashew nut from Vietnam accounted for more than 16,000 tons, with the value of more than US$ 92 million, equivalent to 71% of market shares.

In 2020, the UK's pepper import reached nearly 14,000 tons, valued US$ 121 million, among that was 5,621 tons from Vietnam, valued more than US$ 48 million and nearly 40% of market shares. Also in that year, the UK's coffee import valued nearly US$ 1 billion. Vietnamese coffee imported by the UK reached 27,915 tons, valued more than US$ 48 million and accounted for nearly 5% of market shares.

Vietnamese coffee are on shelves of many big supermarkets in the UK.

Up to now, there are many Vietnamese agriculture products exported to the UK. Among that, pepper, cashew nut and coffee are well consuming in big supermarkets. Rice and other fruits like longan, lychee, dragon fruit are on shelves in smaller supermarkets, rarely appear in in big supermarkets.

It is apparent the United Kingdoms - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) brings many competitive advantages for Vietnamese agriculture products in comparison to the same ones from other countries that still do not have FTA with England, the Vietnam Trade Office in England supposes.

But the commercial counselor of Vietnam Embassy in London, Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong says, Vietnam only can take the advantages once the products meet the quality standard required and are suitable to the British consumption trends.

He also says, Vietnam companies must do their best in any time, because “chances do not wait them” and they steadily do not last as the UK might join the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) in the near future and England is negotiating FTAs with big trade partners.

Do Ha Nam, Chairman of Intimex Joint Stock Company (​Intimex Group) , company owns a rice milling and processing factory in Dong Thap with capacity of 300,000 tons per year, said the UKVFTA is an opportunity for Vietnamese rice to access the UK market. Previously, Vietnam exported just a small quantity of rice to the UK due to high tariff. Therefore, zero tariff in the UK market under the trade pact will help Vietnamese rice go faster to this market.

Sources from rice exporting firms in the Mekong Delta reveal that they are expecting greater rice exports to the UK this year, especially fragrant rice. Because under the UKFTA, Vietnamese fragrant rice exported to the UK will be tax-exempt instead of being imposed 17.4% tax as before. Thanks to that, Vietnamese rice will gain competitive edge over rivals, including those from Thailand.

The UK’s market is big, competitive with high standards required for agriculture products. Vietnam’s companies can only access this market when they follow fully GlobalGAP and EuroGAP requirements, meet the other international governance standards like ISO, SA, ILO, etc. Besides, Vietnam’s companies must have the abilities to provide goods in time, stable in quality and quantity. They should have the right approaching market strategies while facing many competitiveness from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, etc.

Author: Thanh Son. Translated by Gia Loc.



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