TOKYO, Nov. 24 – Following Vietnam’s lifting of an import ban on Japan-grown Unshu Mandarin oranges in October, growers in Wakayama Prefecture will become the first to ship the oranges to the country in late November.
JA Arida, an agricultural cooperative in Wakayama, Japan’s top growing region of Unshu oranges, plans to ship some 2 tons of early-season varieties to Vietnam in the current fiscal year.
Growers hope their oranges – with a unique sweet-sour flavor which differentiates them from oranges from other countries – will appeal to rich consumers in Vietnam.
Vietnam agreed to lift the import ban under the condition that the oranges are cultivated at registered farmlands and go through inspections for citrus fruit flies and other pests.
The farm coop in Wakayama cooperates with the Wakayama Prefectural Government and the Japan External Trade Organization’s branch in the prefecture to export the product.
Twelve growing areas owned by members of JA Arida are registered this season to make shipments of the oranges under the Arida Mikan brand.
The oranges are expected to be sold at a high-end supermarket chain in Ho Chi Minh City and other places starting in early December.
JA Arida will work with the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam and the supermarket chain to promote Wakayama-grown oranges by making sales promotion videos in Vietnamese and using social media.
They are looking to increase the registered growing areas and the amount of exports in the next fiscal year if they sell well.
“We want to establish brand recognition for Arida Mikan and work actively to market the product globally,” said JA Arida head Koji Morita.