Workshop seeks ways to raise Vietnamese coffee’s value

Much needs to be done to raise the value of Vietnamese coffee in the international market, experts said at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on March 4.

Speaking at the event, held by Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper, they pointed out that Vietnam shipped abroad some 1.72 million tonnes of coffee worth about 3.94 billion USD last year, making it a key agricultural export item.

However, the figures have failed to reflect the real value of the product due to the low intensive processing rate, they stressed.

According to Thai Nhu Hiep, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, who is also Director of Vinh Hiep Co., Ltd., the country is home to 710,000 hectares of coffee, of which 650,000 are harvestable, mainly in the Central Highlands region.

He suggested promoting the engagement of both businesses and the State in developing value chains, saying attention should be paid to geographical indication, traceability, and food safety and hygiene. 

Ho Van Muoi, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Dak Nong province, which ranks third nationwide in terms of coffee area, stressed the need to change the mindset of farmers and to encourage them to produce clean coffee.

Others suggested incentives towards businesses to create diverse products, along with credit policies for cooperatives and enterprises.

In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan stressed that the building of brand name for Vietnamese coffee should be associated with culture in order to improve its competitiveness.