Home Back Issues Jan/Feb 2012 Vietnam hungry for Oregon potatoes

Vietnam hungry for Oregon potatoes

| Print |  Email
Articles - Jan/Feb 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012

By Amanda Waldroupe

0112_Vietnam_01
0112_Vietnam_02
At top: A Pacific Northwest potato display in Ho Chi Minh City. State ag directors Dan Newhouse of Washington (left) and Katy Coba or Oregon with a store manager.

Vietnam’s economy and demand for American exports is growing, and Oregon’s potato growers aren’t being couch potatoes. A recent trade mission to Vietnam to scout a potential market for Oregon agricultural exports found that Vietnam is going to be a very important market for Oregon agriculture, says Dalton Hobbs, assistant director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

“It has a lot of potential,” says Bill Brewer, executive director of the Oregon Potato Commission. “It’s a whole new developing market.”

A test shipment of two ocean containers carrying 80,000 pounds of fresh potatoes are expected to be sent to Hoh Chi Minh City within a month or two, according to Hobbs. Test shipments are a typical step in creating new export markets. Such shipments further test demand and technical problems related to shipping fresh products, to be smoothed out before larger, more frequent shipments begin.

In as little as a year, Oregon could start commercially shipping between 40,000 and 80,000 pounds of potatoes each month, equating to between $100,000 and $200,000 in monthly profits, Hobbs says. Brewer says shipping a couple containers a month would “be a great start” and is confident business would quickly grow. “If we could just get in there and get that much product on their shelves, it would grow big time,” he says.

Potatoes are a staple of a typical Vietnamese diet, but the only part of the country that can grow them is the highlands. Most potatoes, Brewer says, are shipped from China and are a pale, off-color brown “that we in the U.S. would not accept.”

“Our potatoes have a lot better shape, and are more consistent in size,” Brewer says. So it’s little surprise that the Vietnamese were particularly interested in Oregon’s red, purple and blue specialty potatoes, and were willing to pay a dollar per pound — twice what they would pay for locally grown potatoes.

The new market might be a shot in the arm for a commodity that has slowly increased its acreage since a sharp decline in the late 1990s.

 

More Articles

Trends in business succession

News
Thursday, July 03, 2014
TrendsBY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.


Read more...

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

Attack of the Robin Sages

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 07, 2014
070714 thumb linkedinfakesBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.


Read more...

Register for 100 Best Companies survey

News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OBM-100-best-logo-2015 150pxwBy Kim Moore | OB Editor

The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...

OB Video: Oregon MESA

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014

ThumbOregon Business hosts an informal roundtable discussion about the Oregon MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS