According to Thailand’s Chinese Daily News, the Thai Ministry of Commerce stated that it will launch a battle to defend the reputation of Thailand’s fruits. In addition to ensuring the quality of Thailand’s export of fruits, it is also necessary to prevent illegal imports of fruits from nearby neighboring countries to Thailand, and then export activities in the name of Thailand’s production.
Recently, Thailand discovered that a large number of illegal green grapefruits were exported to China under the name of Thailand. This month, Thailand’s agricultural product and food safety quarantine department has seized a batch of green pomelo from other countries, preparing to apply the Thai production quarantine certification and export it to China from the Chiang Khong port. Thailand carried out sampling inspection on the samples and found that these green pomelos were not produced in Thailand’s original place, and then refused to provide certification for this batch of green pomelos.
In recent years, Thai green pomelo has become one of the favorite fruits of Chinese consumers. The main varieties are ruby green pomelo and emerald green pomelo. The single fruit of ruby green pomelo can reach about 4 kilograms and is shaped like a pear. The skin is green or yellow-green, and the stomata on the skin are clearly visible. The grapefruit has thin skin, thicker flesh than normal grapefruit, softened scum, and sweetness of 13-15 degrees. Ruby Green Pomelo is only grown in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province in southern Thailand, and the output is very small. The domestic retail price of a ruby green pomelo is generally more than 120-200 yuan, which is a veritable noble pomelo. The sweetness of the jade green pomelo is slightly lower than that of the ruby green pomelo. The flesh is pink, soft and juicy, and the retail price in China is generally about 30 yuan/piece.
Thailand’s official statistics show that in 2020, Thailand’s green pomelo exports totaled 20288.1 tons, valued at approximately US$21.58 million. A year-on-year decrease of 15.19%, but exports have increased by 30.46%. Among them, 46.90%of the green pomelo was shipped to China, followed by 22.81%to Hong Kong.
The main reason why exporters from other countries pretend to be Thailand’s fruit exports to China is that China has allowed more than 20 types of fruits into Thailand, and relatively few types of fruits have been allowed into other South Asian countries. In particular, green pomelo is only allowed to be imported from Thailand. In recent years, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos have been vigorously developing fruit cultivation, and green pomelo is no longer unique to Thailand.
Many green pomelos on the Chinese market are actually from Vietnam. Vietnam introduced jade green pomelo from Thailand in the early years, so it is also called Vietnamese green pomelo and Vietnamese red heart green pomelo. However, the Vietnamese green pomelo has not yet been admitted by the Chinese customs. In recent years, it is estimated that 60%of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports to China have been through informal border trade. This has allowed some Vietnamese fruits to find ways to export to China under the guise of Thai fruits.