SNV in Vietnam recently collaborated with the People’s Committee of Lac Duong District (Lam Dong Province, Vietnam) to organize the event “A Taste of Sustainability: Arabica Coffee Lac Duong Experience” during the visit and working session of the delegation from Yachiyo City (Ibaraki Province, Japan).
The event was part of the IKI/BMUV funded “Coffee Agroforestry and Forest Enhancement for REDD+” project (Café-REDD), implemented by SNV from 2018 to 2024 in Lam Dong province. Over 200 guests, encompassing representatives of businesses, domestic and international coffee roasting companies, international organizations in Vietnam, representatives of coffee cooperatives, and local farmers who are partners of the Café-REDD project attended the event.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Peter Loach – Country Director of SNV Vietnam, stated that since 2019, the Café-REDD project has been at the forefront of organizing activities to connect businesses in providing technical support and market access for coffee products to the local community, aiming to promote sustainable coffee production that deforestation free.
Simultaneously, the project combines activities to improve production efficiency and coffee quality, contributing to raising awareness among the local community in forest management, protection, livelihood and social development. This, in turn, enhances the lives of the local communities and contributes to the socio-economic development of Lac Duong District and Lam Dong Province as a whole.
According to Mr. Peter Loach, Lac Duong is the largest Arabica coffee growing area in Lam Dong Province and one of the most reputable and high-quality Arabica coffee regions in Vietnam. Lac Duong Arabica Coffee is grown using sustainable cultivation methods that strictly comply with scientific recommendations in preserving the environment and preventing deforestation. Its coffee has a distinctive aroma, a sweet, mild, and balanced taste, making it popular and trusted by many consumers.
“Lac Duong Arabica Coffee is one of the exemplary representatives of the third wave of coffee – ‘Specialty coffee’ – which is a movement towards producing high-quality coffee and treating coffee as a handcrafted art, providing coffee enthusiasts with a unique and unforgettable experiences” evaluated the Country Director of SNV Vietnam.
Mr. Peter Loach believed that the event was evidence of the success of the 4Ps approach (Public – Private – Producer – Partnership) – an advanced approach in developing inclusive value chains for agricultural products that SNV has always pioneered in its projects in many countries, including Vietnam.
Therefore, to honor Arabica Coffee and the special agricultural products of Lac Duong, as well as create opportunities for connecting trade between development partners, businesses, local authorities, producers, and consumers. This will generate added value for Arabica Coffee and the special agricultural products of Lac Duong, improve the income and quality of life for farmers, protect the environment and biodiversity, and contribute to the local socio-economic development.
Farmer groups and cooperatives, who have been supported by the Café-REDD project like Cho Mui, Yu M’Nang, and Zanya Coffee, joined the event to share their stories and showcase their transformational successes in their villages. Lieng Jrang K’Cham, a participant at the event, shared her inspiring journey and the support she received from the Café-REDD project, stating, “With the project’s assistance, my family and I were able to take the lead and expand our businesses. Initially, it was just us, but now we have encouraged our neighbors and people in the village to follow our example.” Her words exemplify how the project empowered individual farmers to become innovators, fostering a trend of sustainable practices and inspiring others in the community to join the journey. Their participation at the event symbolized the project’s success in expanding market access and economic opportunities for indigenous people in rural areas, enabling them to earn a higher income and contribute to the overall well-being of the landscape.
Mr. Bui The, Chairman of Lac Duong District People’s Committee, acknowledges that the Café-REDD project has positively contributed to the development of the Lac Duong Arabica coffee brand – a coffee that meets all quality standards, enhancing the livelihoods of those involved in the sustainable supply chain.
“The event not only aims to promote the Lac Duong Arabica coffee brand but also serves as an opportunity for organizations, entities, and businesses to learn, exchange, and discuss specific cooperation programs between the district and Yachiyo City, with the goal of developing the Lac Duong Arabica coffee brand in Japan,” expressed the Chairman of Lac Duong District People’s Committee.
During the visit and working session of the Yachiyo City delegation in Lac Duong district, several collaboration programs were signed between entities and businesses from both localities, spanning various sectors such as tourism, hospitality, labor export, and workforce training. Of particular significance in the field of agricultural exports is the collaboration between VOCO Import-Export Trading Company Limited – a pioneering unit in the production of Lac Duong Arabica coffee following international standards – and Aikai Group (Japan) to introduce Lac Duong Arabica coffee products to the Japanese market.
Aikai Group is known for operating the AI MART chain of stores specializing in distributing and retailing Vietnamese food, agricultural and specialty products in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. This collaboration is expected to provide opportunities for the Lac Duong Arabica coffee brand and the distinctive products of the legendary LangBiang region to penetrate the market and captivate consumers in Japan.