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VIETNAM – Coffee Forum discussed the future for Coffee Sustainable Development Plan in Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY – The third annual coffee forum took place in Ho Chi Minh City on 4th December. The 154 delegates from a broad spectrum discussed sustainable coffee production through public-private cooperation, looking at the current state and future outlooks.

The forum was jointly organized by the Coffee Coordinating Board of the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (MARD) in collaboration with SNV Netherlands, 4C Association and powered by the IDH Sustainable Coffee Program.

Attendees included the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, standards organizations and local farmers, amongst others.

In his opening speech, Mr. Pham Dong Quang, Deputy Director of Department of Crop Production, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Deputy Director of Vietnam Coffee Sector Coordinating Board, remarked:  “To date, Vietnam’s coffee sector has made outstanding progress. However, it faces many sustainability challenges.

These include “hot” development of cultivation area, exhausted soil, abuse of fertilizer, inefficient water use which leads to exhausted water sources in the context of the global climate change, quality and food safety control, outdated technologies, adding value to export products, and particularly  benefit sharing mechanism between coffee farmers and companies  to ensure long-term business relationships”.

Discussions centered around how to better connect coffee farmers, domestic enterprises and international actors, as well as how to develop action plans for addressing outstanding sustainability issues including gender and youth inclusion.

The forum also reviewed the progress that has been made in sustainable coffee sector since the last meeting in December 2012; in particular four sustainability initiatives active in the Vietnamese coffee sector.

“This forum is a great occasion for us to review initial results achieved in sustainable coffee development  in Vietnam, and to jointly identify challenges and bottlenecks that need to be addressed to ensure that Vietnam’s coffee sector fully capitalizes on its potential and advantages.”, Mr. Quang added.

The outcomes of the forum provides useful inputs for refinement and completion of the Vietnam’s National Master Plan for Coffee Sustainable Development of Vietnam.

The Sustainable Coffee Program is a global, pre-competitive, public-private partnership that aims to accelerate sustainable coffee production to a mainstream breakthrough level.

The objective of the Sustainable Coffee Program is to increase sustainable green coffee sales from 8% in 2010 to 25% by the end of 2015.

Source:  The Sustainable Trade Initiative