Making news

Building brand name for Vietnam’s coffee

Vietnam is one of the largest coffee producers in the world, earning more than 3 billion USD from the export of coffee bean each year, but the country mainly sells beans as material with low added value.

Director of the Rural Development Centre Dao Duc Huan has discussed with the Vietnam News Agency the building of brand name for Vietnamese coffee.

Huan said Vietnam should base its approach to brand building on its advantages and long-term vision. For example, it can exploit the advantage of specialty coffee growing areas such as Buon Ma Thuot or Son La to establish brand names in connection with geographic indication (GI).

At the same time, the brand building work should go in the direction of high-quality product, based on connections among cultivation-processing and the market.

According to the official, several ministries and local administrations have adopted policies and measures to establish brand names for specialty coffee through GI protection. At present, Vietnam has had two coffee products with GI, which are Buon Ma Thuot and Son La coffee.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has approved a framework national project on developing high-quality coffee. The project aims to develop a coffee industry from farming to processing. It will encourage the use of new coffee varieties and advanced farming and post-harvest techniques, mechanization and reorganization of production for higher productivity, better product quality, and climate change resilience.  

Huan noted that brand building work is facing many difficulties in the context of the small scale and limited capacity of the local coffee industry.

He cited the lesson of the northern province of Son La in the field. The province has sought GI and origin protection for all local coffee products from raw beans to roasted and powdered coffee. The protection has provided a firm foundation for businesses to gain a foothold in the domestic market and increase exports.

Son La has been able to connect processors and growers in the coffee production chain, which facilitate the establishment of stable material growing zones and the application of quality-control standards such as 4C, UTZ in cultivation.

As a result, Son La coffee, though new to the domestic market, has received good response from the market, according to Huan.