Processing cashew nuts for export (Source: VNA)

Farm produce exporters in Vietnam are being urged to study the Republic of Korea (RoK) market thoroughly to gain a firm foothold, especially given the two countries recently signed a free trade agreement.

According to Vietnamese export businesses, the RoK is a choosy market in Asia since all products allowed to enter the market must overcome a strict quality control process.

According to Le An Hai, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Asian-Pacific Markets Department, fresh fruits and vegetables imported by the RoK must receive plant quarantine certificates issued by the country’s authorised agencies while processed fruits and vegetables must meet requirements on production lines, processing and product preservation.

Unimpressive packing is also affecting the choice of Korean consumers.

As such, Vietnamese businesses need to strictly follow production processes and procedures in accordance with RoK criteria in order to bring their products closer to RoK consumers.

According to Lotte Mart Administration Director Yoon Byung Soo, there are a number of vegetable and fruit varieties available in Vietnam but not in the RoK due to climate dissimilarities.

He suggested Vietnamese exporters pay attention to the RoK market to uncover which products have high demand but insufficient supply, invest more in packaging, and ensure delivery time.

Inviting RoK purchasing companies to inspect Vietnam’s production areas is also a way to increase their trust in local products, he added.

Vietnamese businesses can gain access to the RoK market through the country’s major distribution channels like Lotte Mart and Imart supermarket chains and Dole company, said Hai.-VNA