AEON, one of the largest retail companies in Japan, has been selling fresh Vietnamese lychees at its 250 supermarkets and malls across the East Asian country.
The first batch of the fresh lychees imported from Vietnam has been on the shelves of the firm’s AEON supermarkets and AEON Style malls since Monday, AEON Vietnam said on Friday.
The retailer sourced the tropical fruit from farms in Luc Ngan District in the northern province of Bac Giang, Vietnam’s largest lychee-growing region.
The fresh Vietnamese lychees have been transported by air to Japan since the end of May without being frozen, thus retaining their original freshness and taste.
AEON said it began completing the necessary procedures to import Vietnamese lychee as soon as the Japanese authorities removed import restrictions last December.
AEON is also the first retailer to introduce the fruit to consumers in Japan.
The lychees are packed into boxes of ten lychees each and priced at about 500 Japanese yen ($4.66) per box.
“This is a great success for Vietnamese farmers, Bac Giang Province, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and embassy officials,” Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam told the official Vietnam News Agency, noting the challenges for the fruit to meet “the technical standards of the fastidious Japanese market.”
“If we can produce agricultural products that are acceptable to the Japanese market, we can certainly penetrate other markets,” Nam added.
In addition to lychees, several unique Vietnamese agricultural products such as mangoes, dragon fruits and coffee have been exported to Japan and sold in the AEON retail system since 2015.
It is expected that AEON will strive to achieve an export turnover of goods from Vietnam of about US$450 million in 2020, an increase of $80 million from last year's.