On June 16, Vietnam’s first batch of seedless lychee was launched in the UK market. It becomes the fourth Vietnamese specialty fruit, after Tan Lac red grapefruit, Dien Yen Thuy grapefruit, and Cao Phong orange (Hoa Binh), to be officially exported to this fastidious market this year.
The ripe lychee is bright red, crispy, mildly sweet, and seedless which is suitable for British consumers.
The above-mentioned batch of seedless lychee was grown in Ngoc Lac (Thanh Hoa) by Ho Guom – Song Am High-tech Agriculture Co., Ltd. It was imported into the UK by TT Meridian Company, which is an enterprise specializing in distributing lychee and Vietnamese agricultural products in the UK.
Mr. Thai Tran, CEO of TT Meridian, said that the retail price of seedless lychee is about 16-18 pounds/kg (equivalent to 480,000-540,000 VND), which is higher than ordinary lychee from 3-4 pounds. However, the company still decided to test the import of this specialty fruit to assess market demand. The results of the quality inspection showed that the product has a characteristic sweet taste of lychee, juicy, crispy, and seedless, which is suitable for British and European consumers.
According to Mr. Thai Tran, the UK strictly requires quality of agricultural products but is very open to new advances and inventions in agriculture. British consumers are not hesitate to try new fruits and varieties although the price may be slightly higher than ordinary ones. If the quality and price of Vietnamese seedless lychee are welcomed by the UK market, TT Meridian will import about one ton per week in June and July, the time of the lychee main season in Vietnam.
The CEO of TT Meridian said that: Regarding fresh tropical fruit imported from Vietnam, the company is applying the Just-in-time process (providing products following the time and place required by customers) to ensure that the fruit can retain its freshness when reaching customers. The entire process from the time of export at the garden in Vietnam to the time of selling the product in the UK only takes 36 hours, including packaging and shipping from Vietnam, customs clearance, and distribution to the retailer in the UK.
On June 16, the seedless lychee batch arrived at the warehouse of Meridian TT Company in London under the Just-in-Time process, ensuring freshness when reaching consumers.
This batch of seedless lychee was harvested and packed in Ngoc Lac (Thanh Hoa) on the evening of June 14 and kept cold for 36-48 hours. The batch completed quarantine procedures at Noi Bai airport and was transported by a direct Hanoi-London flight of Vietnam Airlines to arrive in London on the afternoon of June 15 (Local time). After that, lychees were cleared and moved to TT Meridian’s warehouse on the morning of June 16.
Meeting the requirements of the Just-in-time process is a combined effort of the manufacturer – Ho Guom – Song Am High-Tech Agriculture Co., Ltd., international shipping partner Viet Brite, and importer TT Meridian. They implemented procedures in the fastest way, from sterilization and packaging, phytosanitary, transportation, and import-export to compliance with technical and commercial requirements in the UK to ensure products meet the standards of circulation in the market.
According to Mr. Thai Tran, seedless fruit is a trend of consumption in developed countries as well as in the world. He recommended that Vietnamese agricultural exporters should pay attention to this factor and regularly improve plant varieties to catch up with global trends when scientific and technological advances in the agricultural industry have helped Vietnam as well as the world to invent and hybridize many quality fruit varieties.
According to Thanh Hoa Provincial Portal, Ngoc Lac seedless lychee is produced under VietGAP, GlobalGAP, organic certificated, and qualified for export to Japan, Canada, Europe, etc. The ripe lychee is bright red, crispy, mildly sweet, and easy to store, especially its skin does not get burned under the sunlight. This variety was imported from Japan, selected and tested by Ho Guom – Song Am High-Tech Agriculture Co., Ltd in collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Genetics in 2019 in Ngoc Lac district on an area of about 30 ha. This is the first year the lychee is available for harvest with an estimated yield of over 20 tons. Currently, the company has nursed more than 20,000 lychee plants for grafting and is expected to continue to replicate in the coming years to meet the demand for high-quality agricultural products both in the country and for export./.