UTZ CERTIFIED’s Productivity-focused Program Helps Vietnam Coffee Industry Grow

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Organization speaks on its Vietnam sustainable coffee program at the National Coffee Association conference March 19, 2010.

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

Thiet Van Nguyen, Vietnamese coffee specialist with UTZ CERTIFIED, the leading global agricultural sustainability certification program, will present at the National Coffee Conference (March 19, 2pm in Dana Point, CA - near Los Angeles). Thiet will discuss 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.

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.

“We are excited to tell the coffee world about the Vietnam sustainable coffee success story,” says Graham Mitchell, UTZ CERTIFIED general manager. “The efforts of each company and country can add up to major changes in efficient, yet sustainable coffee production globally.”

Other key components of the UTZ CERTIFIED program are: preventing deforestation, child labor, and hazardous pesticide use; improved farm professionalism and productivity; and improved social worker health and safety conditions. It is also the first certification program to provide online real-time track and trace systems for all its coffee production, enabling consumers to track their cup of coffee back to the farms where it was grown and companies to verify the origins of the coffee they are buying. The organization will be offering the same program for tea and cocoa in 2010.

Mitchell also noted that 2010 sales of UTZ CERTIFIED coffee in North America “will likely expand considerably given that its flexible logo use and low program cost suits the needs of larger U.S. and Canadian roasters that require a mainstream approach to support their brand.”

UTZ CERTIFIED will also be attending the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) conference April 15-18, 2010, in Anaheim, CA (booth 2559).

Contact: Sandra Marquardt, 301-592-0077    


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