Businesses call for stricter management of durian industry

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Businesses call for stricter management of durian industry
After permitting official export of Vietnamese durian to China, durian has created a miracle for Việt Nam’s fruit industry with more than US$2.2 billion in export value last year. — VNA/VNS Photo

Businesses are proposing a strict management mechanism for the sustainable development of durian farming sector amid its rapid expansion.

After officially permitting exports of Vietnamese durian to China, the king of fruits has created a miracle for Việt Nam’s fruit industry, with more than US$2.2 billion in export value last year.

However, the growing market has exposed the industry to problems of complying to import market regulations, leading to many durian shipments being inspected for plant diseases and food safety.

Other violations include packaging facilities purchasing durian from growing areas without codes, leading to products with unclear origin, or not following the approved packaging process.

Ngô Tường Vy, general director of Chánh Thu Fruit Import-Export Joint Stock Company, said that the durian industry’s development is helping farmers earn huge profits.

But she said that many businesses have lost hundreds of billions of đồng because purchasing contracts have been cancelled. When working with a supermarket chain, just one cancelled contract can have huge consequences.

Therefore, Vy said, there needs to be a systematic legal mechanism for the durian industry’s sustainable development.

For instance, Thailand- a competitor of Việt Nam in durian production and export- has seen success in the global market thanks in part to strict sanctions for violations at every phase of the durian supply chain.

Enforcement of the regulations contributed not only to the benefit of inpidual growers, but also for the whole supply chain and the nation, she added.

Durian crops have a life cycle of up to 30 to 40 years, so a long-term solution to protect the Vietnamese fruit’s reputation and brand is necessary to help the industry develop sustainably.

Võ Quan Huy, director of Huy Long An Co, Ltd., said that another issue is tracing the origin of seedlings. In the next five to ten years, he said, the market will start paying more attention to provenance.

Huy also said new durian growing areas should be issued codes in order to increase the volume of official exports.

Currently, about 30 per cent of the total durian production area has already been granted codes or has registered for codes.

Nguyễn Phong Phú, technical director of Vina T&T Import-Export Company, said the most important issue for the durian industry now is to strengthen the supply chain. According to Phú, that’s because the major problems of the industry are price chaos, breaching of contracts and breaking the supply chains.

Việt Nam now has 708 coded growing areas and 168 coded packaging facilities that are officially allowed to export durian to China.

In addition, there are 634 growing areas and 80 packaging facilities waiting for codes granted by the General Department of Customs of China (GACC) to export durian to China.

Around 26,400 hectares of durian growing areas have been granted codes, while about 17,790 hectares are awaiting their codes.

Việt Nam’s total durian production area is currently up to 150,766 hectares.

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