Fruit exporters face risks of being abandoned by customers

Monday - 02/08/2021 22:45   530
(VAN) If trade and export operations are suspended for an extended period of time, importers will seek other partners. As a consequence, many companies will lose access to their primary customers and marketplaces.

Risks of losing business partners

Long An province People's Committee issued a document requiring dragonfruit plantation laborers, pickers, and transporters to report their negative rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 or RT-PCR.

According to the local government, the Covid-19 pandemic is becoming more complex in Chau Thanh district, where Tam Vu town reported nine positive community cases with unknown infection origins. The patients were mostly concentrated in dragon fruit storage facilities and lodged in communal and town hotels. However, many units believe that testing or rapidly testing all dragon fruit laborers is very tough.

Many dragon fruit gardens are starting to have a new harvest. Photo: Minh Dam.

Many dragon fruit gardens are starting to have a new harvest. Photo: Minh Dam.

In Tien Giang, Director Mai Cong Tiep of Luc Tim business, which specializes in selling and buying dragon fruits, said that the price of dragon fruit has dropped to as low as VND3,000-4,000 per kilogram. Previously, the business bought almost 200 tons of dragon fruits each day, but currently gathers just 30-40 tons.

“We truly want to buy the fruits to manage the farmer's production, but we are unable to do so owing to Directive 16, which prohibits gatherings of more than two persons and street movement after 6 p.m.,” Tiep said.

Many establishments purchasing dragon fruit want to operate to ensure '3 on-sites' measure. Photo: Minh Dam.

Many establishments purchasing dragon fruit want to operate to ensure "3 on-sites" measure. Photo: Minh Dam.

Additionally, many companies and cooperatives who purchase dragon fruits from suppliers who do not guarantee the "three on-sites" model are forced to halt operations owing to the order and disease concerns.

According to a representative of a factory in Tien Giang province that specializes in purchasing and pre-processing 30-40 tons of fresh fruit for export daily, it would be difficult to cease operations for an extended period of time because foreign partners supply supermarkets require listed prices and must supply continuously. As a result, importers will seek new partners. Following the pandemic, many companies will lose their primary customers and markets.

The spokeswoman said that his business is not situated in an industrial park and that he is attempting to execute "three on-sites," which will result in a reduction of more than 50% of workers and an isolation from the outside for more than 21 days.

"From now until August 5, we will no longer collect products and will instead focus on inventory and backlog. Not only companies but also farmers, will suffer in the coming years. Because a variety of fruits, including dragon fruits, are being introduced into agriculture."

Dragon fruit costs have halved to between VND 3,000 and 4,000.

Currently, similar to many other agricultural goods, dragon fruit production in the Mekong Delta is experiencing problems.

Long An and Tien Giang provinces have the most dragon fruit trees, covering about 21,000 hectares. Long An province contains almost 12,000 hectares, the majority of which is located in Chau Thanh district; Tien Giang province has over 9,000 hectares, the majority of which is concentrated in Cho Gao District.

In Tien Giang, farmer Do Van Ha of Quan Long commune, Cho Gao district, who is now harvesting 500 red-fleshed dragon fruit plants, lamented: "Traders may purchase for VND 5,000 per kg. This season, my initial 500 roots yield 3 tons of fruit. However, at this price, it is a waste."

According to Van Tan Phuong, Deputy Director of My Tinh An Dragon Fruit Cooperative (My Tinh An commune, Cho Gao district), dragon fruit is seasonal this time of year, resulting in poor production. Each garden is about a few hundred kilos in weight.

The cooperative continues to collect export standard products with a floor price of VND 10,000 per kilogram from members who have manufacturing connections according to GlobalGAP criteria. If the whole garden is eaten, the price ranges between VND 5,000 and 7,000 per kilogram, depending on the number of standard products consumed.

In many gardens, dragon fruits start ripenning. Photo: Minh Dam.

In many gardens, dragon fruits start ripenning. Photo: Minh Dam.

Additionally, Chinese merchants are debating whether to continue importing products. Currently, the cost of purchasing attractive dragon fruit in the garden varies between VND 5,000 and 6,000 kg, with an average bucket costing between VND 3,000 and 4,000 per kg. The best fruits, hand-picked in the warehouse, cost just VND 14,000 kg, although this amount is very uncommon.

“Registration for green-channel cars has always been problematic owing to frequent network congestion. Additionally, each company is restricted to two registered cars, limiting the amount of transportation available. Meanwhile, with two days remaining before the start of the fresh harvest, the anticipated yield is about 15,000 tons. Numerous companies are now very concerned. Additionally, the organization is debating how to consume this volume of products "Nguyen Quoc Trinh, Chairman of the Long An Dragon Fruit Association, said.

Due to the complexity of the Covid-19 epidemic and the increasing number of illnesses, Tien Giang province has recommended halting operations for all companies adopting "3 on-sites" on August 5, including those located within and outside industrial zones – clusters. Which is home to many businesses engaged in the purchase, processing, and export of fresh fruit.

Author: Author: Minh Hau. Translated by Linh Linh.


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