In early March, the USDA announced a trade policy success after Vietnam opened its markets to U.S. grapefruit imports. This came as great news for companies like Wonderful Citrus, the largest fresh citrus grower, harvester, packer, and exporter in the Western United States, which has worked with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to grow its exports and make sure consumers across the globe can access citrus 365 days a year.
“Wonderful Citrus and our grower partners are excited for the opportunity to delve into the new market in Vietnam for our delicious and premium Sweet Scarletts Grapefruit from Texas,” says Zak Laffite, president of Wonderful Citrus.
USDA reports that Wonderful Citrus works with Texas farmers and harvesters to bring grapefruit from Texas to many markets around the world. The opening of a new grapefruit market in Vietnam is especially timely for Texas growers.
“The Texas grapefruit industry is making a comeback after a devastating freeze that affected crops in 2021,” says Lafitte. “Given the resurgence of crops, it is important to focus on new market opportunities to sell Texas grapefruits, which will positively impact farmers and employment in the State.”
Vietnam is now the ninth-largest market for U.S. agricultural products, while the United States is the largest market for Vietnamese agricultural products.
When asked about what have been some of the impacts on grapefruit growers / Wonderful Citrus because of this new market access, Wonderful responded by saying: "Because this is a new market, we are doing our due diligence to better understand the demand, the volume expectations, and the various nuances any new market may bring."
Wonderful Citrus is one of the many grapefruit exporters who can now benefit from the Vietnam market being open to their product. The United States is one of the leading grapefruit-producing countries, with grapefruit exports reaching nearly $33 million in 2022.
The opening of the Vietnam market was the result of many years of dedicated work by USDA, other U.S. Government agencies, and private sector partners. USDA is dedicated to continuing to open new markets and strengthen existing relationships to expand export opportunities for U.S. food and agriculture producers.