Vietnam’s tea for export is one of the nation’s three rising agricultural products in 2012, with a total turnover of around 227 million USD from 148 thousand tonnes of exported tea.

According to the Vietnam Tea Association (Vitas), the average price was 1,524 USD per tonne, up 0.2 percent from the previous year.

Vitas President Doan Anh Tuan said that Vietnamese tea is now exported to many countries, including the US , Japan and European countries, which appreciate food hygiene and safety. Therefore, tightening the monitoring of pesticide in tea is a hot issue that will decide the sector’s future.

To maintain Vietnamese tea’s prestige, the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will improve monitoring and classifying conditions to ensure safety in tea production and processing, and punish organisations and individuals that are not up to standard.

Nguyen Xuan Hong, head of the department, said that it is necessary to improve food safety officials’ capacity to monitor standards. They play a crucial role in State management, and encourage the community to participate in the control of food safety.

“We have proposed to build a network of food safety from volunteers in all localities and social organisations to the Government,” Hong said.

The sector needs to improve market research and analysis, defining key and potential markets and main products.

According to experts, solving these issues will help raise the quality and value of Vietnamese tea, ensure the interests of consumers in and outside the country, and really give Vietnamese tea a foothold in the world market.-VNA