Tea brands need quality boost to expand exportTea export turnover in the first half of 2013 increased 3.3 percent over the same period last year to reach 94 million USD, despite export volume slipping by 0.4 percent.
Although the void was filled by a 6 percent rise in export prices, the Vietnam Tea Association claimed export prices for Vietnamese tea remained low, at just 40-50 percent of the value enjoyed by many other countries.
This was attributed to the failure to establish a well-recognised brand for “made-in-Vietnam” tea products.
About 90 percent of Vietnamese tea is exported in the form of raw materials and only 10 percent leaves the country as a finished product, according to the association.
Director of the Plantation Protection Department Nguyen Xuan Hong said efforts are being taken to enhance the quality of tea products.
The department has asked localities to keep a close watch on the use of pesticides to ensure exported products meet importers’ standards.
Tea processing companies should also work with farmers to create supply chains and offer farming techniques to meet the international standard of groups such as the Rainforest Alliance (RA) Certificate or VietGap.