Ample room to grow and develop Vietnamese clam exports

Clams are one of main aquatic products of Vietnam. This is also a popular product in many markets such as the Europe, US, Japan, Malaysia and Australia, among others. In recent years, many localities and businesses have made strong investments in sustainable production in order to achieve international certifications, creating a foundation for Vietnamese clam exports to expand. According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Vietnam's bivalve mollusk export turnover in the first nine months of 2023 reached 98 million USD, down 11% over the same period last year. Of which, clam exports alone reached 62 million USD. The top nine export markets for bivalve mollusks in the country in the first 9 months of this year include Spain, Italy, Portugal, Japan, America, and China, among others. In addition, Vietnamese clam products have presented in nearly 60 markets worldwide. With the advantages of domestic production and significant potential for consumption markets, the clam indus try is expected to reach a new height. The Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that Vietnam has a variety of shellfish such as clams, blood cockles, snails, scallops and oysters, among others. Clams are also a key commodity that brings economic value and development potential. Clams are raised in a lot in provinces, including Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa, Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh. Many businesses are focusing on investing in technology and constantly improving quality, including Lenger Seafood Vietnam Co., Ltd. The Dutch Lenger SeaFood Group has surveyed in six clam farming provinces in Vietnam. Realising the long-term clam farming potential of Nam Dinh province, Lenger SeaFood Netherlands decided to build a clam processing factory and establish Lenger Seafood Vietnam Co., Ltd. Since then, Lenger Seafood Vietnam has continuously tried and accompanied local people and authorities to promote the development of clam farming. According to Tong Thi Luong, Head of the Aquaculture Department, Nam Dinh Fisheries Sub-Department, Lenger Seafood Vietnam Co., Ltd. is the first unit to invest in technology, purchase and process commercial clams in Nam Dinh province for export. Starting from 2019, Nam Dinh Fisheries Department has worked with other units in the industry to coordinate and support Lenger Seafood Vietnam in linking with farming households in Nghia Hung district to reorganise production towards sustainable clam farming. By 2020, Lenger Seafood Vietnam's "Lenger Fam" farming area was certified as the first sustainable clam farming area according to ASC standards in the world. This is a highly favorable condition to open new consumption markets for clams. Luong added that Nam Dinh Fisheries Department has accompanied and supported Lenger Vietnam in applying high technology to the production process. In addition, the two sides have jointly built a high-tech clam seed production project and a clam farming model in ponds. The company assesses that this proje ct will help improve the quality of clam varieties from the initial production stage, minimising difficulties and risks when raising clams on tidal flats. According to Luong, Nam Dinh Fisheries Sub-Department and Nam Dinh Agro-Forestry-Fisheries and Fisheries Quality Management Sub-Department have deployed monthly environmental monitoring in concentrated clam farming areas. At the same time, they have implemented a food safety monitoring program in collecting bivalve mollusks. From there, Lenger can choose and evaluate product quality more accurately, helping the consumption of clam products improve. Nguyen Ho Nguyen, General Director of Lenger Vietnam Seafood Co., Ltd. shared that the company is one of the first to achieve ASC certification for Vietnamese clams. Currently, Lenger Vietnam has built a 500-hectare clam beach, and is developing other farms to support this important certification. The company currently exports clams mainly to the European market, with the main products being frozen, vacuum-sea led whole clams and canned clam meat. Every year, the company supplies to the market more than 8,000 tonnes of frozen clams, with revenue reaching about 15 million USD a year. It is expected that by 2024, export output will reach 10,000 tonnes a year, he said. Dinh Xuan Lap, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Center for Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries (ICAFIS), Vietnam Fisheries Association, said that Vietnamese clams, especially the Myratrix Lyrata white clam, have great competitiveness in the world market. Deep-water clam farming is a great opportunity for Vietnam to expand its area and increase production organically. Vietnamese white clams can be processed into a wider variety of products to suit the global market./. Source:Vietnam News Agency