Updated: Sep 7
In recent years, the market is poised that one fruit will become a leading prominent export in the future – Vietnamese avocados. This tropical fruit, once a well-kept secret elite, is rapidly gaining international recognition for its exceptional taste, unique qualities, and promising potential in global trade.
The Vietnamese avocado industry has been experiencing significant growth, attracting attention from both local farmers and international traders. Vietnamese avocados thrive in the country's southern provinces, where the climate and soil create an optimal environment for cultivation. The abundant sunlight and well-draining soil contribute to the development of avocados, resulting in a fruit that boasts both exceptional flavor and nutritional value.
The Rising Global Trend of Avocado Production and Consumption.
With the perspective that avocados, often dubbed the "queen of fruits",boast a rich nutritional profile that enhances health and immunity, particularly during the onset of flu season, the demand for avocado consumption is witnessing a global upsurge. Avocados have gained popularity in a myriad of ways, ranging from their direct utilization as a side dish to being blended into smoothies or transformed into beauty products like masks and skin-nourishing essential oils, all within the realm of trusted beauty regimens.
Prospects for Avocado Export in Vietnam.
According to economic experts, Vietnamese avocados are not lagging behind in terms of quality and production compared to major avocado-exporting countries worldwide. Despite having considerable room for growth, the story of avocado exports in Vietnam still faces several challenges.
In Vietnam, avocados are economically valuable fruit-bearing trees, primarily cultivated in the Central Highlands provinces, including Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, and Kon Tum, covering a total area of nearly 8,000 hectares and continuously expanding. Notably, avocado trees are interplanted in coffee and black pepper orchards, contributing to high productivity, quality, and efficiency.
Dak Nong is among the provinces with a significant avocado cultivation area and output nationwide, with an area of nearly 2,600 hectares. This includes specialized cultivation on over 700 hectares and intercropping on nearly 1,900 hectares, yielding an average of 10 to 15 tons per hectare. Avocado trees are easy to grow, less susceptible to pests and diseases, with care costs only about one-third of other perennial crops. With stable avocado prices over the years, each hectare yields an annual harvest value ranging from 300 to 500 million Vietnamese dong.
With favorable geographical features, climate, and soil conditions compared to other provinces, many avocado varieties in Dak Nong bear fruit almost year-round (from January to November) with high yields, such as Cuba avocado, 034 avocado, Booth avocado, Hass avocado, and wax avocado. Dak Nong avocados are larger, more tender, and have a darker yellow color, making them more visually appealing than avocados from other regions, which is why they are favored by consumers.
As assessed by the Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (WASI), avocado trees provide significant income for farmers. By the fifth year of cultivation, a tree can yield 25-30 tons of fruit per harvest per hectare. Prices can range from a minimum of around 30,000 Vietnamese dong per kilogram to a peak of up to 100,000 dong per kilogram for premium avocado varieties.
High Demand for Avocado Consumption in the United States: A Promising Opportunity for Vietnamese Exporters.
The United States presents a substantial demand for avocado consumption, which serves as a potential opportunity for Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exporters in the near future, including Vietnamese avocados.
In a discussion with the press, Mr. Le Son Ha, Head of the Plant Quarantine Department at the Plant Protection Department (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), revealed that the majority of avocados in the United States are distributed through large supermarket chains, involving significant quantities. As a result, meeting the stringent requirements becomes crucial: avocado suppliers must bear responsibility and possess the capacity to oversee various stages within the supply chain, from production to distribution. Exporting companies must also ensure they possess the necessary quality certifications. Given that avocados are commonly consumed as a ready-to-eat fruit, food safety aspects require particular attention from businesses.
The thriving U.S. market for avocados underscores the importance of adhering to stringent quality standards and supply chain management. As Vietnamese exporters contemplate capitalizing on this opportunity, it becomes imperative to focus not only on meeting demand but also on ensuring the highest levels of safety and quality for consumers in the United States.
Towards the Goal of Sustainable Avocado Export and Development.
In the pursuit of making avocados a strong contender for export and penetrating challenging markets, a close linkage between cultivation regions, farmers, and agricultural export enterprises is essential. Moreover, Vietnam needs to identify and select superior avocado cultivars that offer high quality and productivity, along with a well-devised marketing and promotional strategy.
Avocado is considered a "demanding" fruit due to its delicate nature, often limited to fresh consumption and with a shelf life of up to a maximum of five days. Its simultaneous ripening characteristic and susceptibility to bruising make long-distance transportation to distant provinces or for export challenging. Currently, Vietnam has yet to establish any processed avocado products. Additionally, avocado is intricate to process, as improper handling can result in bitterness. While some export orders have received positive responses from countries like China, Taiwan, and Australia, successfully entering demanding markets such as the United States or European countries is a complex endeavor. It necessitates serious and meticulous investment, demanding high-level techniques in preservation and product care.
According to the Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030 report by the OECD-FAO, on the global market, avocados are projected to become the most exported fruit by 2030, reaching 30.9 million tons, surpassing pineapples and mangoes. Among these, Mexico stands as the world's largest producer and exporter of avocados. The forecast predicts an average annual growth of 5% in Mexico's avocado production over the next 10 years. The surge in Mexico's avocado exports is driven by robust demand in the United States. The United States is expected to account for 40% of avocado imports, while the EU is projected to make up 31% of the total global avocado import value by 2030. Furthermore, avocado imports are rapidly increasing in various other markets, such as China and several countries in the Middle East.