Since obtaining a certificate of geographical indication (GI) from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) in March 2021, Thieu lychee grown in Luc Ngan district in the northern province of Bac Giang has seen its competitiveness and export volume significantly rising.
The fruit is the first Vietnamese farm produce to be granted such certificate from Japan, with related negotiations lasting for nearly three years. In addition to the demanding market, Thieu lychee has already earned geographical protection in six others, namely China, Laos, Cambodia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Australia.
Official data showed that 48.5 tonnes of the Luc Ngan lychee were shipped to Japan, and 293.5 tonnes to other markets (excluding China) in 2020. The figures soared to 56.7 and 9,500 tonnes in 2021. This year, Vietnam has so far exported 164.4 tonnes of the fruit to Japan, 36 tonnes to the US, and more than 1,800 tonnes to other markets.
Nguyen The Thi, Vice Chairman of the Luc Ngan People's Committee and head of the Luc Ngan lychee production and consumption association, said that since the fruit was granted GI protection in Japan, it has been welcomed in many other countries.
According to the official, many businesses in the region and EU countries have come to negotiate and sign purchase contracts. The protection is like a ‘passport’ to help speed up customs clearance processes, raise prices, and improve the value of the farm produce.
Luc Ngan boasts favourable climate and soil conditions for the cultivation of various fruits. Currently, it is home to some 16,000ha of Thieu lychee plantations.