The Vietnam Tea Association (Vitas) Friday permitted the country’s seven leading tea production and trading companies to use the “Vietnam Tea” trademark.
The use of the name would boost their exports and prevent fake Vietnam tea from being sold in the international market as was happening to some other popular Vietnamese products, Vitas said.
To qualify the tea companies had to meet standards set by the association with regard to processing technologies and facilities, and hygiene.
Most of the seven companies are based in the country’s major tea-growing areas in the northern mountain provinces – like the Phu Ben Tea Company and Dai Dong Tea Production and Processing Co Ltd in Phu Tho, Hung Cuong Trade Co Ltd in Ha Giang, Thai Binh Tea Agro-Industry Factory in Lang Son, Song Lo Tea Co Ltd in Tuyen Quang, and Van Yen Tea Company in Yen Bai.
The other, the Cau Tre Export Processing Factory, is based in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Vietnam Tea trademark was registered with Vietnam’s National Office of Intellectual Property in 2004 and subsequently in the UK and US. Vitas chairman Nguyen Kim Phong said his association planned to promote the trademark in promising markets like India.
Vietnam annually produces 140,000 tonnes of tea, both black and green, and exports 100,000 tonnes to 65 countries and territories. It has become one of the world’s top 10 producers and exporters of the crop.
However, exports last year, at US$88 million, were far below the industry’s target of $107 million due mainly to the lack of awareness of the Vietnam Tea trademark and low output due to bad weather.