Binh Thuan Dragon Fruit Given Geographical Indication Certificate in Japan
On Oct. 7, Binh Thuan province’s dragon fruit was officially granted the Protected Geographical Indication certificate by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, three years after the application to register was submitted.
The Protected Geographical Indication status specifies raw or processed products of which characteristics and quality are associated with their geographical origins. The certificate applies to agricultural, agro-food and wine products.
According to the National Office of Intellectual Property, Vietnam had received 101 Protected Geographical Indication certificates by the end of 2020, six of which were in foreign countries.
The Protected Geographical Indication certificate awarded to Binh Thuan dragon fruit is Vietnam’s second geographical indication certificate officially recognized in Japan, following that for Luc Ngan lychees.
The certificate is considered the “ticket” to enter Japan and the wider market. It affirms the reputation of Binh Thuan in Japan, opening new opportunities for export and consumption of the agricultural products in different markets, especially those with high standards such as Europe, Korea and New Zealand.
|The Protected Geographical Indication certificate awarded to Binh Thuan dragon fruit is Vietnam’s second geographical indication officially recognized in Japan. Photo: Ministry of Science and Technology|
Nguyen Phuong Thuy, an Oriental Studies lecturer at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, noted that the certificate meant Binh Thuan dragon fruit was given trademark protection and could therefore become popular amongst locals.
Thuy explained that because consumers knew the farm produce was guaranteed by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, “they will trust its quality and be more willing to buy it.”
According to the Director-General of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam Dinh Huu Phi, the Protected Geographical Indication certificate helps to protect the brands for agricultural products in the foreign market and contributes to ensuring that products granted the certificate will have higher prices compared to products without.
As such, the certificate marks a major milestone in bringing Binh Thuan dragon fruit to the Japanese markets and creating conditions to provide Protected Geographical Indication certificates for other agricultural products from Vietnam.
Phi noted that the certificate granted to Binh Thuan dragon fruit was only the first step.
For the product to maintain its quality and meet the demands of the Japanese market requires significant efforts from the Vietnamese authorities at all levels.
Phi added that it was important to manage and control the origin of the agricultural product to ensure its quality after the certificate had been awarded. This would continue to be a challenge, especially for Binh Thuan.
|Binh Thuan dragon fruit. Photo: VnExpress|
To boost production, consumption and export of dragon fruit, Binh Thuan should continue promoting the geographical indication “Binh Thuan” to elevate the reputation and values for the fruits and holding conferences and training courses for farmers and businesses on growing, processing and packaging dragon fruits according to the VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards.
In addition, the province should cooperate with specialized agencies to invest in researching, applying and handing over technological advancements to improve production and develop dragon fruit farming areas that meet the VietGAP standards.
Binh Thuan should also strengthen the dragon fruit value chain, enhance promotional events, including on e-commerce platforms, and call for investment in processing to diversify products from dragon fruits.
Binh Thuan is one of Vietnam’s top producers of dragon fruit.
The province harvests approximately 700,000 tons of dragon fruit per year, with agricultural land for growing the fruits expanded by 24% between 2016 and 2020.
Currently, 85% of the total yield of Binh Thuan dragon fruit is for export.
Five localities in Binh Thuan applied for the Protected Geographical Indication in Japan, namely Ham Tan district, Ham Thuan Nam district, Ham Thuan Bac district, Bac Binh district and Phan Thiet city.
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