Vietnam is a country with vast advantages in tea production. Vietnam is presently rated fifth in the world in tea exports and seventh in global tea production, with around 124,000 hectares of tea estates, over 500 tea processing facilities, and 500,000 tons of annual dry tea production capacity. Tea exported from Vietnam is sold to over 70 countries and territories.

This post provides information on the current situation of Vietnam’s tea export industry and suggests some solutions to improve the quality, quantity, and value of exported tea. Meanwhile, it will introduce one of the leading & reputable tea manufacturers and exporters in Vietnam: Future Generation Company.

Vietnam owns vast tea platation regions
Vietnam owns vast advantages for export to the global market

1. Overview of Vietnam’s tea export

Over the years of development, Vietnam’s tea industry has taken advantage of opportunities, achieved remarkable achievements, but also revealed weaknesses.

1.1. Advantages

Large tea growing area and diversified variety of tea varieties are the hightlights of Vietnam’s tea export:

Vietnam currently has over 170 different types of tea, including Shan tea, LDP1, LDP2, PH8, Kim Tuyen, Phuc Van Tien, Tu Quy, etc. For example, Shan tea is a valuable tea variety growing in Northwest regions, such as Ha Giang, Yen Bai, Son La, Lai Chau, and Dien Bien.

The large tea-growing area mainly concentrates in the Northern Midlands and Mountains, then scatters in other areas, such as the Central Highlands, the Northern Delta, and the North Central Coast. Some provinces of our country have large tea-growing plantations, such as Thai Nguyen (22.3 thousand ha), Lam Dong (10.8 thousand ha), Ha Giang (21.5 thousand ha), Phu Tho (16.1 thousand hectares).

Beautiful tea farms at Nghe An province, Vietnam
Beautiful tea farms at Nghe An province, Vietnam

Favorable natural & geography conditions

Located in the Southeast Asian monsoon climate, Vietnam has favorable conditions to develop and become the cradle of tea cultivation.

The soil and climate are suitable for tea tree growth, abundant rainfall of 1700-2000 mm/year, an average temperature of 21-22.6 0C, air humidity of 80-85%. Land for growing tea consists of 2 types: fertile basalt and clay schist.

Related port: 

Favorable geographical location for international transportation & logistics 

As a bridge between the two economic zones of the sea and the mainland of Southeast Asia and Asia, Vietnam has favorable conditions to strengthen connectivity, promote tea exportation in the region.

Vietnam is located next to the East Sea, where it is considered a crucial trade “bridge” on the world maritime map.

World’s main maritime shipping routes
World’s main maritime shipping routes

Of the 39 currently operating maritime routes around the world, 29 routes pass through the East Sea. On average, around 250 – 300 seagoing ships transit through the East Sea every day.

More than half of the ships have a tonnage of over 5,000DWT, and around 15-20% have a tonnage of 30,000DWT or more. It accounts for a quarter of the overall number of ships operating in the world. Along the 3,260 km East coast, there are many areas for construction of seaports, in which, in some places, it is possible to build deep-water ports.

Owing to the primary factors mentioned above, Vietnam’s tea export can enhance in the near future.

1.2. Withdraws

Vietnamese tea has remained some big issues that drag development of Vietnamese tea down.

Low price and low value 

According to the Vietnam Tea Association, about 90% of our country’s tea output is exported in raw form, with low selling prices, and sold under the brands of importers.

There is an inadequacy that the average export price of Vietnam’s tea is only about 1,100 USD/ton, while the average price in the world market is 2,200 USD/ton. Not to mention, some customers of the Vietnamese tea industry in the UK, after buying raw tea for processing, sold it for about $9,800/ton.

 Vietnam’s tea export chart
Source: Statistical yearbook 2019

The limited export market, easy requirements

Vietnam’s tea exports are still mainly going to easy markets, with 3 main markets: Pakistan, Taiwan (China), and Russia. Vietnamese tea has almost not found a foothold in large markets with high and fastidious requirements, such as the US and EU.

Unrecognized Vietnamese tea brand

However, the issue of building and promoting Vietnamese tea brands is still almost open. Most of the new export products are only in raw form, without a name, making Vietnamese tea confusing or bearing the names of major foreign tea companies.

The problem of quality control

Vietnamese tea quality, food hygiene, and safety have not met the standards (pesticide residues) of the tea industry, leading to not meeting the requirements of many export markets of developed countries while the Regulations on pesticide residues in tea (MRL) in the EU, US, and Russian markets are becoming more and more stringent.

In the past few years, the value of tea exported from Vietnam to the EU has decreased markedly in both value and volume. The main cause of this situation is that Vietnam’s tea products are not diverse in types, and the quality of tea is not appreciated, coupled with poor design and standards, leading to the situation that Vietnamese tea is not able to compete with tea products from other countries.

planting tea for export in Vietnam
Vietnam has not taken advantage of its advantages to improve its competitiveness with the world market

1.3 Solutions to improve Vietnam’s tea export position

Quality control

Vietnam tea products have the potential to find a foothold in the EU and US markets if they meet the requirements for food safety and pesticide residues. Therefore, it is necessary to standardize the cultivation and processing process of tea leaves, to improve the export value of Vietnamese tea.

The Vietnamese government has implemented many policies to develop Vietnamese tea products to meet international standards. Farmers across the country participate in sustainable and quality supply chains, promote safe tea production models according to Rain Forest, UTZ, GlobalGAP, and Organic standards.

Sustainable supply chain

Tea processing establishments must create stable and long-term raw material areas. Especially, enterprises must have their plant protection services focus on replacing the use of plant protection. Tea farmers play a vital role in controlling plant protection, conserving residues of toxic active ingredients in drugs on products, ensuring food safety, and improving the yield and quality of tea.

Tea exporters need to actively change their image and participate deeply in the supply chain. Tea companies also need to invest in technologies to manufacture products that meet the prescribed standards of quality and food safety.

tea farm for exporting
Implementing measures for the sustainable development of tea trees will help increase the value of Vietnamese tea.

Science & technology

Many tea farms across Vietnam have converted old tea varieties to new ones. Many tea manufacturing companies recognize the importance of investing in processing to meet strict standards. For example: diversifying tea products processed by advanced technology. Or restructuring the ratio of black tea and green tea appropriately to ensure meeting both domestic and international markets.

The result is they get high-quality post-processed tea products.

Marketing & promotion

Product marketing is very important. In order to effectively market and promote products, it is necessary to research the market thoroughly. Capturing consumer tastes will make marketing more effective. Vietnam needs to write a story about tea by clearly introducing the origin, growing method as well as tea production, and tea drinking culture to consumers.

Exporting businesses should participate in different tea and food and beverage fairs so that consumers in these areas have the opportunity to access more Vietnamese tea brands.

Cozy Vietnamese tea brand Products Display
Cozy is one of the top famous Vietnamese tea brand

2. 2 main tea commodity groups of Vietnam’s tea export

Let’s take a look at the 2 main Vietnamese tea commodity groups that has high export ratio.

2.1 Tea in bulk as the raw ingredient

Vietnam’s tea exports are mainly raw ingredients, packed in big bags or cartons, at the weight of 30 to 60 kg each. Most of the international customers buy Vietnamese tea products in raw, process and sell them to the market under their brand.

Black tea

Black tea is currently a tea product that accounts for a large proportion of Vietnam’s tea export structure. Because the typical liquor color of Vietnamese black tea is reddish, it is also called ‘red tea’ in many places. In particular, black tea can be stored for many years without losing its aroma and taste.

Black tea is processed according to the OTD or CTC technology process:

Fresh tea leaves → withering → crushing → fermentation → drying → screening.

After sieving and sorting, black tea is divided into many grades from low to high quality depending on the size of the tea leaf such as: OPA, OP, Pekoe, BOP, BP, FBOP, PS, BPS, F, D.

Black tea grades
Black tea grades

Green tea

Green tea is grown and produced mostly in Vietnam, China, Taiwan and Japan. They are processed according to the following stages:

Fresh tea leaves → de-fermenting → cooling → crushing → drying → sieving and sorting

When brewing, Vietnamese green tea has a bright yellow-green liquor color, strong acrid taste.

In terms of export green tea output, Vietnam is currently ranked 2nd in the world after China. Green tea is quite popular in Vietnam. Thai Nguyen tea is the most typical type of Vietnamese green tea. In addition, famous green teas in our country also have ancient Shan Tuyet tea and green teas with flower flavors, such as Lotus tea, Jasmine tea, etc.

Vietnamese green bulk tea
FGC’s Orthodox Green Tea

Find out how to buy bulk tea online from Vietnam at How to buy Vietnamese bulk tea online

2.2 Tea as final products

Vietnamese tea enterprises have created wide brands such as Cozy, Phuc Long, Cau Tre, Cau Dat, Vinatea, etc.

Currently, there are two strong growing segments: herbal teas and handmade teas (in the traditional way, from the hands of artisans). These are the categories that Vietnamese tea enterprises are focusing on investing in shortly to increase selling prices and export turnover.

Some Vietnamese brands that have had initial success in the handmade tea segment are Bachatea tea and Cao Son tea and have been stably exported to Japan, the US, and Western Europe.

In the Northern, Thai Nguyen province has gradually registered the collective trademark with the brand name – Thai Nguyen Tea, in some countries and territories.

From the successful registration of protection in the US, China, Taiwan (China), Russia, Thai Nguyen province is promoting the implementation of registration procedures in Japan and Korea. It is an affirmation of the quality of Thai Nguyen tea, a premise, and a good opportunity to bring Thai Nguyen tea to the world market.

Some of FGC’s tea products under brand name - Cozy
Some of FGC’s tea products under brand name – Cozy

3. FGC – The leading Vietnamese tea exporter

Future Generation Company is a non-state firm specialized in the production of tea and drinks. Our main factory is based in Phu Ho commune (Phu Tho province), one of Vietnam’s main tea-growing locations.

With more than 26 years of expertise in the tea sector, FGC now has over 10 processing factories and hundreds of hectares of tea farms, making it the largest tea group in Vietnam. FGC’s goods are exported to over 50 countries throughout the world, with an annual export volume of over 20,000 tons.

processing factory in Phu Tho province of FGC tea brand
FGC main factory is located in Phu Tho province – one of the largest tea plantations in Vietnam

Our plantations in Phu Ho commune, in particular, do not employ any pesticides in the growth of green tea trees. Our firm will shortly apply for an Organic accreditation to demonstrate our high-quality standards and expand our export options for safe tea to Europe and Japan.

All of our tea is processed on contemporary lines imported from Japan, Germany, Sweden, the Czech Republic, or Italy. They are subjected to stringent quality control (ISO 22000, HACCP 2003, GMP, Halal). Before being placed in the warehouse and released for manufacturing, workers will thoroughly inspect all raw ingredients (tea leaf, herbs, etc.).

We can offer all means of transportation (via sea, air, rail, or truck). We also are flexible to discuss a wide range of products in terms of quality, price, packaging, delivery terms, and payment terms.

Fresh raw jasmine flowers for making Jasmine tea
Fresh raw jasmine flowers for making Jasmine tea

Products range

Vietnamese tea in bulk

We can provide all grades of black tea, green tea, and CTC tea.

 

 

 

Vietnamese herbal tea

We can offer ginger tea, chamomile tea, lemongrass tea, artichoke tea, hibiscus tea, etc.

 

 

Vietnamese special tea

We provide Shan Tuyet, Oolong tea, Lotus tea, Jasmine tea, etc.

 

 

Modern tea types for convenient lifestyle:

Tea powder, milk tea, RTD fruit tea, etc.

 

 

Packaging standards

If you are looking for a reliable business partner who can produce and export Vietnamese tea, do not hesitate to contact us. Our sales managers are always available to answer your questions, provide reasonable options with competitive prices and the best services.

For more information about tea packing check it out here: Tea packaging: All necessary factors to select the best one

How to contact the Future Generation Company?

A infographic of tea order process when cooperating with FGC

We hope you understand more about Vietnam’s tea export industry in the present. We put a lot of effort into improving our quality and position in the global market as soon as possible. If you have any questions about Vietnamese tea or FGC products, don’t hesitate to contact us at : info@vietnam-tea.com or phone number: 0084-24-73000130. We are willing to support you by our knowledge and experience.

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