USDA gives approval to Vietnamese milk fruit being imported into the country.
The US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) under the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that Vietnamese milk fruit can be imported into the country.
The US only allows the import of five types of Vietnamese fruit: dragon fruit, rambutan, canola, longan, and now milk fruit.
In addition to meeting general regulations such as the Law on Cost and Freight, Vietnamese milk fruit imported to the US also meets other regulations, such as the Code of Federal Regulations, being imported as commercial goods, and having quarantine certificates issued by the Plant Protection Department of Vietnam.
The US is also considering the importation of Vietnamese mangoes and will soon announce a decision.
The total value of Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exports was $2.4 billion in 2016, an increase of 30 per cent against 2015, and is expected to reach $3 billion this year. The value of such exports now exceeds the value of rice exports.
Vietnamese fruit and vegetables are exported to 60 countries and territories but trade promotion and steps to maintain product freshness have fallen short of expectations.
Early this year, Vietnamese dragon fruit were officially exported to Japan, the second fruit, after mangoes, to be exported to the country. Like mangoes, the red, fresh dragon fruit must be steam-treated before being exported, to counteract fruit flies.
Dragon fruit has the highest export value among Vietnam’s fruit and is expected to be one of nine key export fruits in the future. Export volumes to the US, however, remain small as a great deal comes from China via unofficial channels. Official exports account for 2-3 per cent of the total, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.