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Vietnam needs to improve cashew’s quality to expand market share PDF Print
Thursday, 15 December 2016 21:51

VIETRADE – Vietnam, the world’s largest cashew nut exporter, could gain a bigger market share by improving product’s quality thanks to rising global demand for cashew, trade experts have said.


Statistics have showed that global demand was up 53% since 2010 and cashew was now the second most consumed tree nut.


According to Joseph Lang, managing director of Kenkko House, one of Europe’s largest dealers of nuts and dried fruits, the cashew market in Europe over past three years had grown significantly and Europe current consumed around 25% of cashew exports from Vietnam.


Demand was expected to continue increasing because consumers were more aware of the nut’s nutritional value, Lang said at a recent conference in Da Nang City.


Doan Thi Thu Thuy, Deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Agency, said in the same event that while exports of many other agricultural products faced difficulties, it had been smooth sailing for cashew.


Vietnam currently accounted for half of the world’s cashew exports, and had been the leading exporter for the last 10 years. Its cashew products were being shipped to 80 countries and territories, with the US, Europe, and China being the major markets.


The country earned US$2.5 billion from the export of 330,000 tonnes of nuts and cashew-based products last year, a year-on-year increase of 15% in value and 10% in volume, accounting for 9% of total agricultural export earnings.


Up to 290,000 tonnes of cashew were shipped abroad for US$2.32 billion in 10 month of this year, surging 5.5% in volume and 16.4% in value compared with same period last year.

The full year’s exports were expected to reach a record US$3 billion, the ministry predicted.


In order to ensure consistent quality of cashew products, the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) recently announced standards for cashew processing to nudge the industry towards cleaner production.


The standards, covered input materials, technical requirements and equipment involved in cutting the nuts, sizing them at different stages, drying, peeling testa, grading cashew kernel, fumigation, packaging, and export, Viet Nam News newspaper reported.


For instance, the specifications for raw cashew nuts for processing required the raw nuts to be harvested from cashew trees or transplants without using genetically modified technology and have maximum moisture content of 10%, no mould, pests or bacterial contamination, a natural color and so on.


There were also comprehensive requirements for cashew processing plants, processing tools and others.


The newspaper quoted Pham Van Cong, Vinacas deputy chairman as saying that his association expected the more than 300 processing factories in the cashew industry to apply these standards in their production so that the industry could produce products of the same quality.


Experts said that the standards would help the cashew industry meet consumers’ increasing demand for hygiene and food safety standards, non-genetic modification and origin traceability.


In other move, the association also suggested establishing a fund that would make cashew production sustainable. It would also help strengthen linkages between cashew businesses and farmers.


The fund would raise money from four sources – the Government, cashew processors and exporters, the association said, adding that 50-70% of the fund would be used to improve cashew fields, research into cashew strains and support farmers.

The remaining would be earmarked for research and instalment of processing machinery and equipment, improving product quality, hygiene and food safety, and trade promotion both at home and abroad, it noted./.

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