Newspaper: Fruit & vegetable exporters should tap into the Nordic’s niche market

Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exporters are believed to hold considerable advantages under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (Photo: VNA)

Forecasts by the Vietnamese Cong Thuong Industry & Trade newspaper say that Vietnamese businesses exporting fruit and vegetables to the Nordic and Northern Europe are believed to possess opportunities. The market however remains relatively small and the newspaper suggests Vietnamese businesses explore niche markets with organic and sustainable production to satisfy the growing trend for clean food in Northern Europe.

The import of tropical fruit has been decreasing in recent years and this has opened up opportunities for both existing and new exporters from developing countries including Vietnam.
According to the Vietnamese trade office in Sweden, Northern European countries are very much dependent on imported fruits and vegetables due to unfavorable weather conditions and the region imports over 90 percent of fruits and 40 percent of vegetables from foreign sources.

The recent EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which took effect on August 1, 2020, has also generated considerable advantages for Vietnamese firms, as most tariffs on fresh fruit and vegetables have been slashed to zero percent, the trade office noted.

Despite the optimistic market forecast, Cong Thuong newspaper noted that the market is relatively small when compared to others in Europe and 90 percent of vegetables imported to Northern Europe are grown in Europe and only 10 percent are imported from developing countries.

Because of that, the newspaper suggests that Vietnamese companies consider producing organic and convenience products, pointing out European consumers’ increasing preference for healthy diets with clean and natural food, as well as those that serve their busy lifestyles. The article said that Vietnamese businesses need to ensure that product quality meets requirements and more attention needs to be paid to sustainable and responsible production and business practices.

The newspaper stated that only products complying with sustainable standards will be accepted by Northern European consumers and brand building and product storytelling are also tools necessary for marketing new products, particularly those for niche markets.

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