Vietnamese ‘dragon’s eye’ win hearts in Australia

Fresh longan is being sold in nearly 40 supermarkets and stores in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

BYYasir Rehman


Since the Australian Department of Agriculture handed over to Vietnam the permit to ship Vietnamese longan to Australia on 29 August 2019, this exotic product has been gradually increasing its popularity and securing a firm foothold in the “Land Down Under”.

After litchi, mango and dragon fruit, longan is now the fourth Vietnamese fruit variety to be exported to Australia, one of the world’s most demanding markets.

“Thanks to the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and most recently the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the majority of Vietnamese goods exported to Australia enjoy zero tariffs and many other advantages”, said a statement issued by the Embassy of Vietnam.

Envisioning the future, Mr. Ngo Huong Nam, Ambassador of Vietnam to Australia, expressed his strong belief that the Strategic Partnership agreement between Vietnam and Australia has opened up new investment and trade partnership opportunities for both sides.

with a population of 25 million people, Australia is viewed as a potential market for the export of Vietnam’s farm produce, including longan.

“The Vietnamese agricultural sector has the potential to earn millions of dollars from exports of fresh longan fruit alone to Australia in the near future” Ambassador remarked.

As longan fruit can be produced year-round, it has become one of the main fruit-bearing crops in many parts of the country, stretching from northern provinces such as Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Bac Giang, Lao Cai and Son La to the Mekong Delta production areas of Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Can Tho.

Fresh longan fruit in Vietnam is typically based on small orchard production. The peak production season is from June to August, with some newer cultivars harvested up to early September. In 2019, Vietnam produced over 700,000 tonnes of fresh longan fruit. Domestic consumption accounts for nearly 50 percent of the output, albeit this number is on the rise, mainly in urban areas.

Vietnam currently exports longan fruit to many countries, including key markets, namely China, the United States of America, Canada, the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia and some parts of Europe.

The fruit variety has the most consistent volume distribution out of all items exported by Vietnam. These figures have shown that Vietnamese fresh longan is strong enough to compete with other countries’, though they still need promotions abroad.

Last September, only a few days after an import permit for Vietnamese fresh longan fruit was granted by the Australian Department of Agriculture, the Vietnamese Embassy in Australia, in collaboration with Vietnam Trade Office in Sydney, Vietnam Business Association in Australia (VBAA) and GreenPath Company organised a ‘Vietnamese Longan Day’ ceremony in Melbourne to mark the debut of fresh longan in the Australian market.
And now, fresh longan of Vietnam is being sold in nearly 40 supermarkets and stores in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and a supermarket chain in Adelaide.

According to the Vietnamese Embassy in Australia, the Vietnamese Government expresses strong determination to help its provinces raise output and boost exports of their agricultural products, including fresh longan, to foreign markets.

In this connection, promotion campaigns, e.g. “Vietnamese Longan Festival” and “Vietnamese Longan Day” to nudge this exotic product closer to Australian consumers will continue to be organized by the Embassy of Vietnam in Australia, in partnership with the VBAA and other Australian importers, in some parts of the Aussieland in 2020, with a focus on connecting Vietnamese producers to chain distributors and wholesale businesses in Australia.

Called ‘dragon’s eye’ in Vietnamese, fresh longan has become more and more popular now. The fruit has hit the shelves at supermarkets in over 60 countries and territories worldwide.

Mr. Tran Ba Phuc, President of VBAA has said that from a business perspective consumption of Vietnamese fresh longan fruit has started taking off in Australia.

“Initially, they were mainly consumed by the Asian population, but today, almost all ethnics in Australia buy this exotic product from Vietnam. Retailers like GreenPath Australia, Sao Anh Duong, etc are promoting this item in their flyers which shows they are becoming more mainstream”,
he added.

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