How to Import Vietnam Dragon Fruit - Guidelines

Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that possesses a unique shape and taste. It is abundant in nutrients and offers numerous health benefits. 
Being one of the primary export products of Vietnam, dragon fruit has successfully penetrated various global markets, including China, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. 
If you aspire to import dragon fruit from Vietnam, there are specific steps that you need to follow:


Before engaging with Vietnam suppliers, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the Vietnam dragon fruit market, including how it operates, pricing structures, proper storage of dragon fruit in containers, sizing considerations, and packaging requirements. This knowledge will enable you to assess the supplier's expertise.

a.  Dragon Fruit Quality

In the Vietnam dragon fruit market, the pricing of dragon fruit can vary significantly, typically ranging from 30% to 50%, based on what is known as the type or "loại" in Vietnamese. 
Top quality called type 1, mid quality called type 2, low quality called type 3, lower call 4, 5 etc.

So, what is type 1 look like?

Type 1 Dragon fruit

The type 1 dragon fruit will have a full red body.

Dragon fruit type 2

You can see there is a green spot, that green spot makes the dragon fruit not beautiful.  

Type 3

Type 4

If the green spot is big (type 4), sometimes the price can be 60% cheaper than type 1. The reason for the green spot is that dragon fruit trees are grown with a lot of protein. The taste remains the same, but the appearance is not perfect for type 1. In some markets, such as China, the outlook is highly important, and sometimes type 1 is not sufficient to meet the demands of the Chinese market.
As a professional dragon fruit exporter, I solely focus on exporting type 1 dragon fruit to my esteemed customers. This deliberate choice is driven by the fact that type 1 dragon fruit is much easier to sell in the market. My ultimate goal is to ensure your success as an importer and to fulfill my dream of bringing Vietnam's top-quality fruit to the world. By working together, we can both profit and bring happiness to our consumers.

b. Dragon fruit packaging and storing

As an importer, it is crucial for you to have comprehensive knowledge about packaging and storage. If your supplier lacks understanding of proper storage practices for dragon fruit, it poses a significant risk to you in terms of potential fruit damage upon arrival.

To enhance the gloss of dragon fruit after an extended period of storage, approximately 28 days at temperatures of 6°C - 7°C and humidity levels of 95%, you can utilize FC214 packaging film with 25 units of ventilation. This wrapping film will not have any negative impact on the sensory quality of the fruit. On the contrary, it will contribute to enhancing the fruit's visual appeal by providing a notable gloss.

When using an ozone solution (also known as ozone water), wash the fruit, dry it, pack it, and store it in a cool environment. By following these steps, dragon fruit can remain fresh for a duration of 40-45 days.

If combined with cold storage, dragon fruit can stay fresh for 60-75 days. Additionally, soaking dragon fruit in a 200 ppm chlorine solution for approximately 3 minutes can effectively prevent bacterial growth and further extend its storage time.

The dragon fruit is typically packed in carton boxes weighing 3kg, 5kg, or 9.5kg. These carton boxes usually consist of 5 to 7 layers to provide adequate protection during transportation. 

For shipping, a 20 ft container can hold approximately 8 tons of dragon fruit, while a 40 ft container can accommodate around 18 tons of dragon fruit. These weight capacities may vary slightly depending on the specific packaging and stacking methods used.

c. Sizing

According to the import market demand:
+ Dragon fruit in China needs 400-600 grams/fruit.
+ Europe also needs about 250-300 grams/fruit.
+ Singapore averages 300-500 grams/fruit.
+ Hong Kong needs about > 400grams/fruit.

According to the classification of the Post-Harvest Technology Sub-Institute, dragon fruit is classified by weight, so dragon fruit is divided into 4 categories: 
1. Type over 500 grams. 
2. Type from 380 grams to 500 grams. 
3. Type from 300 grams to 380 grams. 
4. Smaller than 300 grams.

d. Dragon Fruit standards

It is essential to select dragon fruit for export that is visually appealing and meets specific criteria. Consider the following guidelines when choosing dragon fruit for export:
+ Intact and Beautiful Shape: Choose dragon fruit that is undamaged and has a pleasing shape.
+ Smooth Skin and Red Color: Look for dragon fruit with smooth skin and a red color that covers over 70% of the fruit's surface. Avoid selecting fruit with scratches or spots caused by sun or disease.
+ Nasal Cavity Test: Perform a nasal cavity test by inserting a probe approximately 1cm deep into the fruit. If there are no protrusions or deformities, the fruit is considered relatively suitable for export.
+ Skin Characteristics: When purchasing dragon fruit, pay attention to the characteristics of the skin. Choose fruit with straight, hard, and green "ears" (protrusions on the fruit). Ideally, the ears should be longer than 1.5cm, as this is especially favored in the Chinese market.
+ Visual Appeal: Customers value visually attractive fruit, so selecting beautiful fruit is advantageous and should be given attention.
+ Flesh and Seeds: Check the type of fruit based on the color and characteristics of the flesh and seeds. For white-fleshed dragon fruit, choose fruit with white and firm flesh, along with black seeds. For red-fleshed dragon fruit, select fruit with red and firm flesh, also accompanied by black seeds.
By considering these factors, you can ensure the selection of high-quality dragon fruit for export, meeting the preferences and expectations of your customers.

There are three types of standards: Non-standard, Viet GAP, and Global GAP. 
If you are an EU or US buyer, you need to ensure that your supplier has obtained Global GAP or Viet GAP certification. These certifications serve as a passport for dragon fruit to be imported into your countries.

Dragon fruit with geographical indication from Binh Thuan
Or contact me through my WhatsApp: +84354827029

If you would love to import with the person who wrote this post, you can fill the form on:

f. What questions you should ask your suppliers?

+ Paperwork:Do they have Viet GAP / Global GAP certification? 
+ How do they store the dragon fruit? 
+ What is the price for each type? 
+ Do they working direct with farmers? 
+ Schedule a video call to ask any additional questions.

If they can provide clear answers, it's a good sign. Ensure that they can provide the necessary documents such as the Certificate of Origin (CO), phytosanitary certificate, and discuss payment terms and delivery terms. 
I recommend using Letter of Credit (L/C) for the initial transaction and employing a third-party company to inspect and verify the products, as this helps build trust.

g. Why should you import with LCD Fruit?

+ LCD Fruit will provide daily updates to ensure you stay informed about your order. 
+ We will keep you informed about the prices at which we purchase the fruit directly from our farmers (FOB), as well as our profit margin, allowing you to make well-informed decisions. 
+ For new customers, we are happy to arrange a meeting where you can ask us any questions regarding our fruit. 
+ In the case of signing a significant contract, we are willing to travel to meet you in person.

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