Why Vietnam is the perfect country to start exporting organic food right now.
The market of organic food in Vietnam is growing slowly, but constantly.
Organic farming in Vietnam already started to develop in the mid 1990s. However, until the late 1990s, the initiative to do organic farming was still very low. The organic area was still limited to organic tea, essential oils, and spices plantation. These products were mostly exported to Europe.
Until the late 2000s, the development of organic farming was still slow, but it showed significant progress with the current various products, such as tea, spices, vegetables, rice, honey, and aquaculture.
This first debut simultaneously signifies the recognition of organic farming in Vietnam.
Organic agriculture journey ultimately led to the first organic agricultural congress held in Hanoi in May 2012 by The Vietnam Agriculture Association (VOA).
As there is a growing demand of organic products globally, organic land area has expanded in Vietnam.
From the report of the FiBL and IFOAM in 2013, the certified organic area in Vietnam reached 31,700 Ha and it grew to 77,000 Ha in 2016 (Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association (VOAA) in Vietnam News, 2017).
There have been about 1,022 organic farms spreading across Vietnam until 2013. The number of organic farming is currently increased along with the development of international market for organic products. There are 33 out of 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam have organic farming models; ranging from organic vegetables, organic mushrooms, organic rice, organic fisheries, organic tea and coffee, organic herbs, and other organic projects. Although the scales are still small the growing process is clear.
What are the best products to export in Vietnam
Vietnam is a quite open market, with a young population and a rapid pace of economic growth. Thanks to EU-Vietnam Free trade Agreement, the best products to leverage in the market are:
- Baby food: 4 top EU exported product in 2016, with a yearly increase of 14,7%;
- Wine and balsamic vinegar: 18 top of EU exported product in 2016, with a yearly increase of 14,7%;
- Pasta: the export has increased by 27,3% in 2016;
- Pesti of vegetables and vegetables spreads, including tomato sauces, to dress pasta or slides of bread and fruits compotes and spreads: (the export has increased by 50% in 2016.
As stated by FIBL 2018 Report, in 2017 the market for organic agricultural products in Vietnam showed a stable increase, supported by increased consumption and government policy.
At the beginning of 2017, the Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association started a very active policy advocacy action to demand for organic products. So, government and state agencies started to pay attention to the promotion of organic agriculture development.
The government has requested the deleopment of an action plan for organic agriculture for 2018-2025 and a new decree needs to be implemented.
Vietnamese people are used to consume vegetables and healthy food. So, they are willing to understand the benefit of organic certified food in order to address their own comprehension.
Mayasuri Presilla | The Development of Organic Farming in Vietnam, Research Center for Regional Resources – Indonesian Institute of Sciences.
FIBL & IFOAM – Organics International (2019): The World of Organic Agriculture. Frick and Bonn