Vietnam coffee growers shift to environmentally friendly methods

Vietnam Young Lions 2019, a competition in the advertising industry, has given the Silver award to members of FEARLESS.

This is a team that suggested the idea of changing coffee users’ thoughts from Coffee Blind (not having awareness of the status of Vietnam’s coffee and not knowing that low-quality coffee beans may harm health) to Coffee Mind (having good knowledge about the quality of coffee beans and the importance of high-quality coffee).

Carbon footprint

The issues that FEARLESS raised are problems that Vietnam’s coffee farming has faced for many years. As the world’s biggest Robusta coffee producer, Vietnam has serious problems which may affect long-term development.

Vietnam coffee growers shift to environmentally friendly methods

The coffee quality in Vietnam is low because of problems in traditional cultivation and harvesting methods, with the lack of a standards and the application of modern technologies.

The area of old coffee plants is increasing, thus affecting the yield and quality, while water resources have been exploited ineffectively.

The coffee quality in Vietnam is low because of problems in traditional cultivation and harvesting methods, with the lack of a standards and the application of modern technologies.

In 2018, Vietnam exported 1.882 million tons of coffee, worth $3.544 billion, an increase of 20.1 percent in quantity and 1.2 percent in value compared with 2017. However, Vietnam mostly exports coffee beans with low added value.

The Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes (ISLA), a program led by IDH, compiled by Agri-Logic, followed the ‘carbon footprint’ of coffee plants all over the world and found that monocorp farms are sources of carbon emissions, producing 0.37 tons of CO2 for every ton of coffee produced.

 

Daan Wensing from IDH said climate change is a big threat, which requires new farming systems, including coffee farming.

In Vietnam, agriculture production still has problems adapting to climate change. The improper cultivation leads to increases in carbon emissions,reduces the organic sources of soil, and increases erosion.

Meanwhile, consumers now prefer environmentally-friendly products and tend to turn their back to products that harm the environment, or consume a lot of natural resources and energy.

Big consumer goods brands are aware of their responsibility in creating environmentally friendly products. Nestle is one of those brands. In Vietnam, the company collects 20-25 percent of total coffee output, worth $500 million, to make coffee products for local consumption and export. Since 2011, it has been running Nescafe Plan, a coffee sustainable farming program in five key coffee growing provinces.

Phuc Sinh, a Vietnamese owned company, is also following a UTZ project on sustainable coffee development. Phuc Sinh CEO Kieu Kim Khanh said the project aims to help coffee producers and coffee brands fulfill their commitments of producing coffee responsibly.

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Quach Thi Ut, head of a co-operative specialising in safe vegetables in Tra Vinh Province’s Tra Cu District, is known for finding innovative methods of cultivation that have boosted her family’s income and helped local farmers escape from poverty.

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Mai Chi

 
 

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