The seedless lychee from Ngoc Lac is produced following the VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards, holds organic certification, and meets the export standards for Japan, Canada, and Europe.
On June 16th, the first batch of seedless lychees from Vietnam made its debut in the British market, becoming the fourth Vietnamese specialty fruit after Tan Lac red pomelo, Dien Yen Thuy pomelo, and Cao Phong oranges (Hoa Binh) to be exported directly to this demanding market this year.
The mentioned batch of seedless lychees was grown in Ngoc Lac, Thanh Hoa, by the High-Tech Agriculture Limited Liability Company Hanoi Lake-Song Am and imported into the UK by TT Meridian, a company specializing in distributing lychees and Vietnamese agricultural products in the UK.
Thai Tran, the CEO of TT Meridian, explained that despite the retail price of seedless lychees being around £16-18 per kilogram (approximately 480,000-540,000 VND), which is higher than regular lychees by 3-4 pounds, the company decided to test the import of this specialty fruit to assess market demand. Quality tests confirmed that the product has the distinctive sweet taste of lychee, a juicy texture, and is especially seedless, making it suitable for British and European consumers.
According to Thai Tran, the UK is a market that demands high-quality agricultural products but is also open to innovations in agriculture. British consumers are willing to try new fruit varieties, even if the price is slightly higher than common varieties. If the quality and price of Vietnamese seedless lychees are well-received in the UK market, TT Meridian plans to import about 1 ton of lychees per week in June and July, during the lychee season in Vietnam.
The director of TT Meridian also mentioned that for imported tropical fruit items from Vietnam, the company is implementing a Just-in-time process to ensure the fruit reaches consumers while maintaining its freshness. This process covers the entire journey, from the moment the fruit is harvested in Vietnam to the time it is displayed in retail stores in the UK, which only takes 36 hours. This includes the time for packaging, transportation from Vietnam, customs clearance, and distribution to retail outlets in the UK.
This specific batch of seedless lychees was harvested and packaged in Ngoc Lac, Thanh Hoa, on the evening of June 14th and kept refrigerated for 36-48 hours. The shipment completed inspection procedures at Noi Bai International Airport and was transported on a direct flight from Hanoi to London on June 15th, local time. Subsequently, the products were cleared through customs and reached TT Meridian’s warehouse on June 16th.
Meeting the requirements of the just-in-time process is a collective effort involving the producer, High-Tech Agriculture Limited Liability Company Hanoi Lake-Song Am, the international transportation partner Viet Brite, and the importer, TT Meridian. These efforts ensure that the product complies with the standards and regulations in the UK market.
Thai Tran also emphasized that seedless fruits are a consumer trend in developed countries and globally. He advised Vietnamese agricultural exporters to take note of this trend and continuously improve their plant varieties to align with global trends. This is particularly important in the context where advancements in agricultural science and technology are facilitating innovation and the development of high-quality fruit varieties, benefiting both Vietnam and the world.
Additionally, it was mentioned that the seedless lychees from Ngoc Lac are produced according to VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards, carry organic certification, and meet the export requirements for Japan, Canada, and Europe. These lychees have a vibrant red colour, a crisp texture, and a mildly sweet taste, and are easy to store as they do not brown when exposed to sunlight.
The seedless lychees imported from Japan are a result of a collaboration between the High-Tech Agriculture Limited Liability Company Hanoi Lake-Song Am and the Agricultural Genetics Institute. Testing and cultivation began in 2019 in Ngoc Lac district, covering an area of about 30 hectares. This year marks the first harvest, with an estimated production of over 20 tons. The company has plans to graft more than 20,000 lychee trees to expand the cultivation of this high-quality fruit in the coming years to meet the demand for high-quality agricultural products both domestically and for export.