TOKYO, Japan – As part of the commitment made by Kirin Holdings Co., Ltd, Yoshinori Isozaki, President & CEO, to farmers in areas of production to increase sustainability and to allow for the stable use of quality materials well into the future, the company launched in April supporting coffee plantations in Vietnam to get Rainforest Alliance Certification. Kirin Holdings Co., Ltd., has been continuing similar initiatives for tea plantations in Sri Lanka since 2013, and broadened the scope this year to include coffee plantations in Vietnam.
Results of the efforts with tea plantations in Sri Lanka since 2013 have culminated in 87 major tea plantations being certified with support from the Kirin Group as of the end of 2019. This is equivalent to roughly 30% of all major tea plantations in Sri Lanka that have acquired Rainforest Alliance Certification. From 2018, efforts also began to support the acquisition of certification by smaller tea plantations, as well as to conserve and protect the water resources within plantations. By the end of 2025, more than 10,000 smaller tea plantations will have acquired Rainforest Alliance Certification.
The experiences and knowledge gained from such efforts in Sri Lanka is now applied and expanded to supporting coffee plantations in Vietnam.
Vietnam ranks second to Brazil as a major coffee producer for the world. Roughly 30% of the coffee beans imported by the Kirin Group in 2019 were from Vietnam, and are used by one of the group companies, Kirin Beverages, Inc., Hideki Horiguchi, President, in their coffee beverage brands including Kirin Fire.
The majority of coffee plantations in Vietnam are small in scope. Because of few appropriate agriculture training opportunities, there are farmers who face reduced revenue or who turn to using inappropriate chemical fertilizers. Through training available as part of the support for acquiring certification, farmers gain a wide variety of new knowledge and skills, ranging from reducing the amount of water used and preventing pollution in rivers and streams, understanding biodiversity, to how to use shade cultivation, and how to prevent soil erosion. They understand how to reasonably use natural resources and find ways to flexibly respond to environmental changes, including climate changes. They learn how to bring down production costs while improving the quality of their coffee. All of which is supported by the Kirin Group.
Support has started off with 400 smaller plantations. Plans are in discussion to support ways to reduce water risks in coffee plantation areas in future.
How Kirin is supporting coffee plantations in Vietnam to gain Rainforest Alliance Certification
Activities are supported so that the following process go in cycles:
- Analysis of current state and making action plans by agricultural scientists from the Rainforest Alliance
- Plantations formed into groups and nomination of a leader
- Training of each group leader in the field of sustainable agriculture
- Training of each small plantation implemented by each group leader
- Self-assessment within each group, making improvement plan, and implementation
The company formulated the Kirin Group Environmental Vision 2050 in February this year. Within that vision, our goal is to have achieved a society in 2050 that values sustainable biological resources, with a declaration to stand by plantations and to make the regions, where resources are produced, sustainable.
To “Create a plentiful world through positive impacts”, our new efforts will begin to support the coffee plantations in Vietnam, an essential resource production region, as part of the Kirin Group Environmental Vision 2050.
The Kirin Group intends to proactively address various social issues in an effort to work together with everyone in the value chain to share the spirit of continuously and sustainably enjoying the blessings of nature into the future.