Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong (second from left) visits a high-tech coffee cultivation model in Cu Mgar district, Dak Lak province.
Nguyen The Long of the Vietnam Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development emphasized the need for a long-term strategy, a roadmap, and an integrated system for Vietnam’s coffee industry.
Coffee businesses need to diversify and improve the quality of their products to be able to compete in the world market while growers must comply with standards of sustainable coffee production and use high-tech to expand certified coffee cultivation areas.
That’s the only way Vietnamese coffee can compete in demanding markets, Long said, adding, “We must follow standards of sustainable coffee development such as the Common Code for the Coffee Community 4C and UTZ - the benchmark for the sustainable production of coffee.”
According to Long, “Once we meet those standards, we can meet the WTO’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures. This will help Vietnam meet the standards set by the EU.”
Coffee growers and coffee producers are now more aware of the situation and have adopted a more appropriate development direction.
A worker dries coffee beans to produce specialty coffee.
At last month’s workshop on coffee innovation, Nguyen Tri Sau, Chairman of the Sau Nhung Agricultural Production and Trade Cooperative in Kon Tum province, said the cooperative is growing 300 hectares of coffee trees in accordance with organic standards using a sprinkler and drip irrigation technology and a solar-powered drying system.
Sau said the cooperative has promoted innovative production methods and raised the awareness of producers.
“Five Central Highlands provinces have been focusing on coffee cultivation so innovation and creativity are becoming more important. Now coffee growers and producers are getting the message that changing their way of processing and marketing their coffee products is the only way to compete worldwide,” he told VOV.
Le Duc Huy, Deputy Director General of Simexco Dak Lak, one of Vietnam’s largest coffee exporters, says innovation is the key to the company’s success against international competition.
“It’s necessary to innovate continuously to improve the quality of Vietnamese coffee and make sure foreign consumers know about it. To that end, we must make farmers understand that they are competing with many kinds of delicious coffee around the world,” said Huy.