|Son La coffee is mainly planted in Mai Son and Thuan Chau district and Son La city. (Photo: VOV)
Coffee is grown mainly in Mai Son and Thuan Chau district and Son La city.
Luong Van Chung’s family has 1.2 hectares of coffee, which will produce 20 tons this year and sell for about 33 cents a kilo. At that price, Chung said he will earn about 6,200 USD.
Chung recalled, “We moved here in 2016 and were financed by the State in infrastructure. Each household received about 3,000 square meters. Coffee has created a stable income for local farmers. Each household harvests 20 to 30 tons per year.”
A network of cooperatives and businesses help maintain, develop, and improve the quality of coffee products in Son La.
Nguyen Xuan Thao, Director of the Bich Thao Coffee Cooperative, said that since the 1990s, the cooperative has grown new coffee varieties and focused on developing organic specialty coffee.
The co-op now has grown specialty coffee on 150 hectares of land and has invested in modern equipment and machinery and applied state-of-the-art technology to improve productivity and quality.
This has resulted in high quality products like pure powdered coffee and coffee berry tea. Pure powdered coffee is Son La’s only item listed among the top 20 five-star OCOP products, according to Thao.
“The new coffee variety has proved resistant to climate change and insect pests,” said Thao.
“Recognizing a rising demand in domestic and international markets for specialty coffee, in 2018 we invited foreign experts to train our members. We also pioneered a method of processing honey coffee without using water, and the use of coffee bean skins to make coffee berry tea for export, creating a Son La coffee of higher value that is more environment-friendly,” Thao added.
|Son La coffee beans are harvested. (Photo: VOV)
The Phuc Sinh Son La Coffee Corporation produces high quality coffee from Son La's Arabica coffee bean. Each year the company purchases and processes 20,000 tons of fresh coffee beans.
Vu Ngoc Huy, who is in charge of the company's raw material cultivation area, said that before they built a coffee processing factory in Son La, they carefully studied cultivation areas and Son La had one of the largest areas and yields of Arabica coffee in Vietnam. But for several reasons, the quality of Arabica coffee hasn’t matched its potential, said Huy.
He told VOV, “We produce Blue Son La coffee, a high quality coffee, whose raw materials should also be of high quality. Since the factory was established in 2018, we’ve developed a raw material area, partnered with farm households, and advised them on farming techniques.”
After more than 30 years of growing coffee, Son La has the largest coffee area in the north - 17,000 hectares, which produce 30,000 tons of coffee beans per year.
In 2017 Son La coffee was granted a certificate of geographical indication for different types of products: green coffee, roasted coffee beans, and powdered coffee. Bich Thao pure powdered coffee was recognized as a national 5-star OCOP product last year, becoming a regional specialty highly prized by domestic and foreign markets.
According to Nguyen Thanh Cong, Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee, Son La has outlined orientations, goals, and strategic solutions for higher profits.
“Our province has reviewed the entire coffee growing area and planted new varieties that will produce high quality specialty coffee. Growing areas and processing factories have been linked and cooperatives have signed contracts to standardize their production,” said Cong.
Coffee has become Son La’s main crop. Its specialty high-quality coffee products are penetrating demanding markets and establishing Vietnamese coffee on the world coffee map.