Ben Tre's drinking coconut has a chance to enter US market

On November 10, 2009, Mr Le Phong Hai, Director of Ben Tre’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARP) met with a delegation led by Dr Vo Mai, Deputy Chairwoman of Viet Nam Horticulture Society, to work out chances for exporting Ben Tre’s drinking coconut into the US market in the future. The guests and hosts discussed very specific details of how to grow good drinking coconut that may be fully qualified for selling in foreign markets and how to preserve the stuff using standardized method.

Mr Tran Thanh Xuan Tien, a representative for the US-based W International in Viet Nam, has proposed to sign a contract to export raw drinking coconut into the US. Requirements for the export stuff include uniform quality of the sweet drinking milk, a ratio of under 30% meat of total volume and should be preserved in standardized conditions. To meet such requirements, it is advisable that Ben Tre adopt GAP production criteria such as choosing to grow coconut in specialised areas and up to food safety criteria. Mr Tien said, for a start, his company can buy a quantity of coconut, an equivalence to an area of 5,000 hectares.

Mr Le Phong Hai said that Ben Tre currently had 49,000 ha of coconut land, so it could ensure enough supply for further export. As for reservation, it is the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that play the crucial role to assist.

Translated by Truong Hung