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Preparing for the opening of New Zealands market for Vietnamese fresh fruits

Preparing for the opening of New Zealands market for Vietnamese fresh fruits
Author: Bao Thang - Translated by Linh Linh
Publish date: Thursday. March 31st, 2022

With the aim of introducing pomelo and lemon to New Zealand, the Plant Protection Department (PPD) has finalized technical paperwork and called relevant units’ in for other opinions.

Pomelo and lemon are two agricultural products that are exported as fresh fruit to New Zealand.

On March 22, PPD sent Letter No. 637 to provincial and municipal agriculture and rural development departments; the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association; and organizations and individuals asking their opinions on the "Export program on phytosanitary requirements for certain fresh fruits exported from Vietnam to New Zealand."

PPD developed a two-step pest management strategy including on-field and post-harvest for two fresh fruits exported to New Zealand, pomelo and lemon.

On the field, the cultivation area needs to be applied with integrated pest management, prioritizing biological control measures such as protecting beneficial organisms (yellow ants, pintail beetles, trident ants...), avoiding intermingling plantations with other types, and using only one variety; and, at the same time, collecting and eliminating plant residues on the field to minimize the risk of spreading harmful organisms.

Following harvest, PPD mentioned cleaning the fruits, including the mechanical removal of dangerous organisms (washing, spraying, etc.).

To maintain original traceability, each export product cultivation area and packaging facility must be assigned a code. The note certifies a manufacturing unit's compliance with three requirements: recording all stages of the production chain; recording phytosanitary measure characteristics; and product traceability in the event of a violation or request.

Regarding training courses, PPD commits to assisting localities, organizations, and people wanting to participate in New Zealand's fresh fruit export program. PPD recommended that gardeners, packing facilities, treatment facilities, exporters, and local specialized agencies send workers to a training session to learn about phytosanitary, food safety, and hygiene standards, as well as the procedure of plant quarantine treatment.

Individuals participating in the program must archive all relevant papers for at least two years. Additionally, local governments, producers, packers, processors, and exporters must be prepared to furnish papers upon New Zealand's request. 

Mr. Hoang Trung, director of PPD, stated that before exporting fresh fruits to New Zealand or any other country, we must meet the standards of the importing country.

To begin, plant protection units at the national level must submit technical documents related to export products, which include groups of information such as product description, cultivation process, list of possible infected pests, plant protection measures, active ingredients used in pre-harvest, post-harvest, and pre-export preservation methods, and phytosanitary work... and "All must be provided in English," Mr. Trung shared.

According to international standards, the importing country (New Zealand) will analyze the pest risk associated with management methods while also commenting on the capacity to meet the export country's criteria – the director of PPD noted. The difference is that each nation would propose separate sampling rates and phytosanitary controls.

New Zealand has a population of over 5 million people, and while the export of fresh fruits to the country has great significance, the country has also developed one of the world's strictest plant quarantine systems, Director Hoang Trung underlined.

"Successful export to New Zealand will not only demonstrate the reputation of our goods, technical competence, quarantine, and management but will also assist discussions with other nations to create markets for Vietnam," Trung explained.

In response to New Zealand's requests, the Director of PPD believes that the archive should be given appropriate consideration. Where a diary must be kept to note document planting areas; packaging facilities must have records of product quality management, and plant quarantine treatment facilities must have a PPD certificate certifying their working conditions.

In March 2022, the PPD dispatched working groups to a number of southern pomelo growing regions in order to share regulations governing the export of fresh fruit of the United States and New Zealand, allowing producers, businesses, and local officials to gain a better understanding of the exporting country's market information.

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