A concerted effort has been launched by markets, retailers and distributors to get Vietnamese southerners to eat lychee.
|Hai Duong lychees on display June 20 in HCM City at a meeting to promote lychee consumption in the South. - VNS Photo|
A district each in Bắc Giang and Hải Dương Provinces and 13 cities and provinces in the south, three wholesales markets in HCM City and retailers like Saigon Co.op, Big C, Lotte Mart and Satra have agreed to increase consumption of the fruit.
Trần Quang Tấn, director of the Bắc Giang Department of Industry and Trade, said the fruit quality now is much better than in previous years, with lychees meeting VietGap and GlobalGap standards accounting for more than 1,050 tonnes.
He said 40 per cent of the province’s output would be exported this year, with the rest (around 78,000 tonnes) sold in the domestic market.
The province has prepared well for the harvest and consumption of the fruit, he said, adding there are nearly 3,000 purchasing points and more than 3,000 local and foreign traders.
Nguyễn Trọng Tuệ, director of the Hải Dương Department of Industry and Trade, said more than half the province’s lychee is expected to be consumed domestically, especially in Hà Nội, Huế, Đà Nẵng, HCM City and other cities and provinces in the south.
There are more than 100 lychee purchasing points in Hải Dương, he said.
According to the two provinces, early-season harvests have been fully sold and the main harvest has begun.
“The domestic market is always the main target for the fruit,” Tấn said.
The meeting to promote lychee consumption in southern cities and provinces is an effective bridge to enable the northern specialty fruit to reach consumers in the south via wholesale markets, supermarkets and distributors, he said.
Nguyễn Thanh Hà, deputy director of the Thủ Đức Wholesale Market Management Company in HCM City, said the volume of lychee transported to her market has increased to 400 tonnes daily, on average, from June 1 to 15.
The market has linked up traders in the market with producers, she said.
Nguyễn Phú Toàn of Saigon Co.op said the Co.opmart supermarket chain expects to sell 600 tonnes of lychees this year, 100 tonnes more than last year.
More than 200 tonnes are expected to be sold through the Big C supermarket, 30 per cent more than last year.
Lotte Mart hopes to sell more than 90 tonnes, Bùi Tuấn Tú, head of its fresh food purchasing division, said.
Under a programme to promote consumption of the fruit, more than six tonnes were sold since June 17 at Lotte Mart outlets, he said.
These retailers offer promotions to boost sales.
Nguyễn Ngọc Hòa, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, said lychee is now mainly consumed as a fresh fruit, and so preservation methods to keep it fresh for longer are needed.
Businesses should also focus on packaging and building brands for the fruit, he added.