In Vietnam, pineapple cultivation is common, spreading throughout the country. Each area has its own particular fertile and climate, making the methods and the times for harvesting various among the North, the Middle and the South. In this post we are referring to the Queen pineapple – the most popular pineapple variety grown in Vietnam. Also, it’s the most type that’s our company uses for our popular soft dried pineapple.
When and How Farmers Harvest Their Pineapples
In the North, commercial pineapple is planted mostly in Ninh Binh, Ha Nam, Phu Tho. Pineapple plants are grown on gentle slopes with ferralsols base and average temperature of 20 – 20 degree C. When it’s peak harvest time (usually falls from May to June), harvesters simply use a sickle or a sharp knife. This is to cut the fruit from the plant by where the pineapple joins the stalk, and put it in baskets. After that, they will load the pineapple fruits on a big truck for carrying to factories or wait for traders.
Growing pineapple in the Middle of Vietnam
In the Middle of Vietnam, Phu Yen, Nghe An and Thanh Hoa are the two provinces that provide plenty of pineapple fruits for the market. Farmers grow pineapple plants on high slopes with not very fertile soil. However, the fruit gives such irresistible aroma and unique flavor that is favored in the country. Under natural conditions, pineapple comes to harvest in two season: February and June (January and May in Lunar calendar). To facilitate the transportation of products during harvest, farmers invented a pulley system. It has winches hundreds of meters long connecting from the slopes to the ground.
Using water for collecting pineapple in the South
Kien Giang, Tien Giang, Long An, Hau Giang are provinces in the Mekong River Delta that grow a large amount of delicious and nutritious pineapple fruits in the South of Vietnam. The Queen pineapple is very nurtured and flourishes here thanks to the fertile acid soil and good climate. Starting from April and end after June in Lunar calendar, farmers using boats to get to every row in the pineapple farm. Then pick the right pineapple with their sickle, and drop the fruits on the canal for later collect.
Tien Giang is among the provinces with the largest pineapple growing area in Vietnam. Pineapple trees in this province concentrate mainly in Tan Phuoc district with an area of over 15,000 ha.
Over the years, pineapples in Tan Phuoc have been developed in the direction of specialized cultivation to bring into full play the strengths of this staple crop. Mr. Huynh Van Buon, Head of the Tan Phuoc Department of MARD, said that the district has shaped the pineapple production area. Consequently, the district conducted science and technology transfers to increase the productivity, quality, and output of pineapple.
The treatment technique for pineapple trees to bear fruit at will, transferred by the agricultural sector of Tien Giang province to Tan Phuoc pineapple farmers, has been effective and is being replicated locally. With this technique, farmers in Tan Phuoc can produce pineapples almost year-round. This contributes to helping farmers adjust output according to market demand, avoiding the risk of pineapple backlog, and difficulty in consumption due to harvest at a certain time of the year.
Thanks to specialized production and promotion of science and technology, many farmers in Tan Phuoc have become well off with pineapples. Mr. Nguyen Van Ngu’s family, a farmer in Thanh Tan commune, with a model of pineapple farming combining husbandry and aquaculture on an area of 3.2 ha, has a profit of over VND1 billion per year.
The expanded pineapple purchasing and consumption network in Tan Phuoc also creates favorable conditions for pineapple trees in this district. In the area, there are 8 cooperatives associated with farmers to produce pineapple and buy back products. Additionally, 19 retailers are specialized in purchasing pineapples.
Understanding the market to boost exports
Products such as frozen pineapple, canned pineapple, and concentrated pineapple juice,… are not only consumed in the domestic market but also exported to foreign countries for decades thanks to good quality and extensive purchasing network.
Promoting pineapple exports, especially to fastidious but high-value markets, is the desire of Tien Giang pineapple growers in particular and the country in general.
Ms. Inge Ribbens (Netherlands Fresh Fruit Import and Export Promotion Association) spoke at the Consulting session on exporting pineapple to Europe, organized by the Agency of Foreign Trade (Ministry of Industry and Trade) on August 30, 2022, in Tien Giang). She said that in 2021, the Netherlands imported over 250,000 tons of pineapples of all kinds and is the country with the largest import turnover of pineapples in the EU. The Netherlands imports pineapples mainly from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Cote D’Ivoire and a small amount from Asian markets such as Thailand, Sri Lanka, Philippines…
Ms. Inge Ribbens suggested that Vietnam’s pineapple and fruit exporters should consider attending major fruit-related trade fairs around the world to promote the product brand and directly approach potential European importers. These events include the Fruit Attraction Madrid, SIAL Paris, Fruit Logistica Bangkok, and Gulfood Dubai…
According to Ms. Hoang Le Hang, representative of the Vietnam Trade Office in the UK, the UK is a good potential market for the export of pineapple products. In 2021, the UK is the 10th largest pineapple importer in the world and 6th in Europe after the Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany, and Italy with 119.6 million tons, worth $78.2 million.
The demand for pineapple products in the UK market is quite stable, with major sources of imports from Costa Rica (accounting for 80% of the market share), Brazil, the Philippines, and Thailand… The fresh pineapple market growth rate in the UK is 3.2% from 2022 to 2027, and pineapple juice consumption averages around 0.43 liters/person in 2021.
Ms. Hoang Le Hang recommended that Vietnamese businesses wishing to export pineapples to the UK need to understand consumer tastes. The British prefer healthy tropical fruits such as pineapple, especially organic products that meet the standards of food safety and hygiene, with no residues of pesticides exceeding the permissible threshold…
Ms. Hang shared that “Vietnamese businesses can approach to sell pineapple products through trading companies, or directly to supermarkets and retail groups in the UK. Participating in fairs and exhibitions, and practicing digital marketing with the UK market are also effective marketing channels for businesses supplying Vietnamese pineapple products to the UK
Vietnam has grown a wide range of pineapple in various plantations across the countries. Some of the commonly seen types are “dứa ta,” “dứa mật,” “dứa không gai,” and mainly grown before the rain season. Ninh Binh, Ha Nam, Thanh Hoa, Kien Giang, and Tien Giang are the provinces with the highest pineapple exported a year.
Visitors coming to Vietnam can purchase this exotic fruit from every street vendor in the country at an affordable price, from 5.000 to 10.000 VND for one whole fruit. The sellers will be happy to cut it out if you do not want to perform your skill.
Benefits of pineapple
Loaded with lots of vitamin C and antioxidant compounds, eating pineapple will help protect the skin, reduce inflammation symptoms, relieve joint and bone pain, and reduce stress. With 100 – 200 grams of ripe pineapple a day, you will notice the improvement of mind and body health. People with stomach diseases, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and pregnant women should not eat pineapple, especially long-stored ones.
Food made from pineapple
Pineapple flesh and juice are used in many dishes of Vietnam and cuisine around the world. It is commonly seen in dessert dishes such as fruit salad, raw shrimp salad, fruit cake, “chè” and ice cream.