Vietnamese swallow's nest is beginning to penetrate the billion-population market

VCN- The first batch of Vietnamese swiftlet nest products has successfully cleared customs for export to the Chinese market at the Huu Nghi International Border Gate (Lang Son) on the afternoon of November 16, marking a new milestone for Vietnamese swiftlet nest products to spread globally.
Vietnam to export first batch of bird’s nests to China this month Vietnam to export first batch of bird’s nests to China this month
Vietnamese enterprises increase investment to seize bird’s nest export opportunities Vietnamese enterprises increase investment to seize bird’s nest export opportunities

Opportunities for the Swiftlet Nest Farming Industry

Speaking at the ceremony for the export of the first batch of Vietnamese swiftlet nest products to the Chinese market on the evening of November 16, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien stated that agricultural, forestry, and aquatic exports play a crucial role in Vietnam's economy. The official import of Vietnamese swiftlet nest products by China will create numerous opportunities for swiftlet farming and the production and processing of swiftlet nests in Vietnam. Despite the modest quantity of swiftlet nests in Vietnam, their economic value is significant. Therefore, with this important milestone, it is hoped that the export value of swiftlet nests to China will increase significantly, contributing to the growth of Vietnam's agricultural, forestry, and aquatic export turnover.

The official batch of swiftlet nests has completed export procedures to China through the Huu Nghi International Border Gate (Lang Son). Photo: Tri Dung.

Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien emphasized, "The Chinese market, with a population of over 1.4 billion people, is the largest consumer of swiftlet nest products in the world, with demand exceeding 300 tons per year, accounting for about 80% of the global market share. Meanwhile, China's domestic swiftlet nest production is limited. Each year, China imports a large quantity of swiftlet nests from other countries.

According to Swiftlet Nest industry data, the official import of this product into China in 2020 was approximately 220 tons; in 2021, it was over 300 tons, and in 2022, it reached 452 tons. Therefore, the Chinese market is a very large market with significant potential and advantages for the Vietnamese swiftlet farming industry. Especially, when China accepts Vietnamese swiftlet nest products, it will drive the swiftlet industry towards a larger scale, more industrialization, and products that meet the export criteria for the Chinese market. At that time, we will need to review and adjust, rather than relying on spontaneous or domestic consumption as in the past. This approach will not only increase the value but also enhance production and processing capabilities."

In Khanh Hoa province, where there are three swiftlet farms, Ms. Nguyen Hoi Phuong (from Nha Trang City) mentioned that the failure rate in swiftlet farming can be as high as 40% (about 2,000 farms with 600 being unsuccessful). The most significant challenge in developing swiftlet farms is the increasing trend of catching wild swiftlets. The practice of catching and selling wild swiftlets to specialty restaurants still persists. Additionally, swiftlet farming requires high technical expertise, adherence to proper procedures, and construction standards that ensure processes, hygiene, and an investment scale of 1.5-3 billion VND per farm. Ms. Hoi Phuong added that once successfully farmed and harvested, raw swiftlet nests not officially exported have a selling price ranging from 19-24 million VND per kilogram. After Vietnam's first export batch to China, swiftlet farmers are excited, estimating a threefold increase in the value of their products.

Planning is essential to meet necessary conditions.

Currently, Vietnam has 42 out of 63 provinces engaged in swiftlet farming, with over 22,000 swiftlet farms. Vietnam's swiftlet nest production is around 150 tons, valued at over 600 million USD. The swiftlet industry in Vietnam is experiencing many opportunities for development and has the potential to bring high economic value, especially after the decree on the export of swiftlet nests to China was signed.

Vietnamese swallow's nest is beginning to penetrate the billion-population market
The swiftlet nest product with feathers removed meets the export standards. Photo: H. Nụ.

It is known that right after the decree on the export of swiftlet nest products to the Chinese market was signed, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development directed units to organize working delegations to visit swiftlet farms and processing facilities to review veterinary hygiene conditions. They provided guidance to production facilities and businesses to promptly address existing issues and deficiencies in the production process and factory hygiene to meet the requirements of the Chinese market. They also instructed businesses to prepare documentation for export registration on the Chinese Customs' network system, coordinating with Chinese Customs for online inspections.

During a sideline press briefing on the export ceremony of the first batch of Vietnamese swiftlet nest products to the Chinese market on the afternoon of November 16th, Mr. Tong Xuan Chinh, Deputy Director of the Livestock Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated that for Vietnam, the livestock industry plays a crucial role. If the swiftlet nest industry can sustainably develop, it could yield over 100 tons annually, bringing high value to both domestic and international markets. However, to achieve sustainable swiftlet farming, two conditions must be met. Firstly, it is essential to maintain the ecological environment, especially the natural ecological environment, as insects are a vital food source for swiftlets. Secondly, effective control measures are necessary, coupled with enhanced communication roles to discourage the capture of swiftlets for purposes other than their intended use. Additionally, localities need to plan livestock farming areas to promote the development of sustainable swiftlet farming.

Moreover, to export products to the Chinese market, businesses need to address issues related to food safety inspections, understand the preferences of the Chinese people regarding product standards, collaborate to share experiences, jointly develop the market, and reduce logistics costs. In this process, the identification codes of swiftlet farming facilities play a crucial role in source tracing. Furthermore, businesses should invest systematically, with specific plans, in technical infrastructure for in-depth processing, thereby enhancing the economic aspect and establishing a long-term direction," emphasized Mr. Tong Xuan Chinh.

By Nu Bui / Phuong Thao

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