A first for the Association of South Tyrolean Fruit Cooperatives: At the beginning of March, the first container of native apples was loaded up for Vietnam. The cargo, a total of 8 tons of apples, will arrive in Asia in a little less than a month.
The export to Vietnam is the result of long and difficult negotiations that have been going on since the end of 2015. The clarification of phytosanitary requirements was a particular focus during the negotiation process. This was followed by several inspection visits by the Asian plant protection authority.
"With this first delivery to Vietnam, not just our association but the entire national apple market has reached a major milestone. No apple has ever been shipped from Italy to Vietnam before March 5th, so the date is of historic importance for us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Assomela, the representative of the interests of Italian apple producers, and hope that we can consolidate and continue our cooperation with Vietnam in the near future", says VOG director Walter Pardatscher.
First apple transport to Vietnam; left to right: Alessandro Dalpiaz (Assomela), Peter Runggatscher (Plant Protection Service, South Tyrolean Provincial Administration), Klaus Hölzl (VOG Sales Manager), Alex Mair (VOG Export Sales Manager for Asia).
Market opening of great importance
In addition to VOG, the CSO (Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli) in Ferrara, many other institutions - from the regional authorities to the Ministry of Agriculture -, the National Institute for Export (ICE) and the Italian Embassy in Hanoi have contributed to the successful opening of the market. These organisations were in constant exchange with Assomela during the negotiations.
"At a time that is certainly not easy for the international exchange of goods, Vietnam's market opening is of even greater importance. It illustrates, far beyond the apple sector, that confidence has been restored in markets and trade between countries that are far apart," adds Assomela Director Alessandro Dalpiaz. In the near future, Vietnam is expected to be joined by Taiwan and Thailand.
Great potential in Vietnam
The VOG sales manager, Klaus Hölzl, sees great potential in the Vietnamese market: "We are following the events in Vietnam with great interest. Now it is important to build a trusting cooperation - this is necessary in order to score points with the end consumer and to overcome even the last critical points of the agreement."
The first container of VOG apples is already on its way to Vietnam and should arrive there in a little less than a month. Then consumers will be able to convince themselves of the taste of the apples and the unique quality of South Tyrol.For more information: www.vog.it