Saturday, 20 March 2010

Coffee Up

Thiet Van Nguyen, Vietnamese coffee specialist with UTZ CERTIFIED, the leading global agricultural sustainability certification program, presented at the National Coffee Conference (March 19) and showed how coffee production under the UTZ CERTIFIED program increased in Vietnam as a result of the organization’s program which focuses on productivity, efficiency, and quality.

Results show an increase in both Arabica and Robusta coffee grown under the program in Vietnam from 11,600 metric tons (MT) when the UTZ program started in 2002 to 93,634 MT in 2009. Currently 10 percent of Vietnam’s coffee production is UTZ CERTIFIED and 13 leading traders offer the coffee. The Vietnam program is a positive example of a country’s coffee sector growing in a sustainable fashion.

The efforts of each company and country can add up to major changes in efficient, yet sustainable coffee production globally.

One of the main benefits of UTZ CERTIFIED’s program for farmers in Vietnam is cost-reduction through adequate use of fertilizer (correct mix, amount, and application methods) and pesticides (spray less of the correct product and only on the infested areas of the farm, rather than the entire farm). In addition, irrigation water use is reduced by understanding the required amount of water per tree. These steps have reduced costs by decreasing inputs while steadily increasing productivity 6 to 8 percent per year.

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