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The Nescafé Plan in Vietnam
Published: November 2012
Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee in the world as well as the number one producer of robusta coffee. Through the NESCAFÉ Plan, the Rainforest Alliance’s experienced agricultural specialists are working alongside Nestlé agronomists to give Vietnamese farmers new skills and techniques. Our support is helping farmers succeed by embracing the principles of sustainability.
The robusta coffee grown by Vietnamese farmers is cheaper to produce, more disease-resistant and stronger in flavor than the Arabica variety that most Western coffee drinkers are familiar with.
The training provided to farmers by experts from the Rainforest Alliance and Nestlé covers sustainable farming practices such as waste management, water conservation and wildlife protection, as well techniques to help them improve their yields, such as better harvesting, pruning and soil management.
A coffee farmer in the Central Highlands region weeds by hand instead of using potentially harmful herbicides, and then uses the organic material he gathers for a compost pile.
Learning proper pruning techniques has helped farmer Thi Huong Nguyen increase her yield.
Women farmers in Dak Lak province have taken on leadership roles, not only running their own coffee farms but teaching neighboring farmers what they’ve learned during the NESCAFÉ Plan trainings.
After the harvest, Vietnamese farmers lay their coffee cherries out to dry in the sun. This will give their coffee beans a better flavor than those that are machine dried.
Most of the coffee in Vietnam is produced on small family-run farms. Consequently, farmers are eager to learn about sustainable practices that protect farm workers – such as how to properly use and store agrochemicals and how to reduce agrochemical use in fertilizer, weed control and pest management.
Shade trees on coffee farms increase the quality of coffee beans, prevent soil erosion and provide habitat for birds and other animal species.