Japanese beverage firm supports sustainable farming in Vietnam

By Dat Nguyen   May 24, 2021 | 09:48 pm GMT-8
Japanese beverage firm supports sustainable farming in Vietnam
A farmer picks coffee berries in the central highlands province of Gia Lai. Photo by Shutterstock/Somchai_Stock.
Japanese beverage company Kirin Holdings is increasing support for coffee growers in Vietnam amid growing consumer demand for sustainable products.

The company aims to extend support to farms in 700 locations, double the current figure, by the end of the year, by training farmers in sustainable production methods to help them obtain certification from an international accreditation organization, according to a Nikkei report.

Kirin helps Vietnamese coffee growers get certification from U.S.-based nongovernmental organization Rainforest Alliance.

To be certified, farmers must refrain from using excessive amounts of agrochemicals and work to protect biodiversity.

Since last year, Kirin has supported 350 Vietnamese coffee farms, helping growers conserve water, protect rivers from pollution and introduce better cultivation methods for areas with low sunlight.

Vietnamese coffee represents about 30 percent of the ingredients used by Kirin in its products, such as canned coffee beverages.

One issue for the company has been fluctuating output among Vietnam's many small coffee growers.

By assisting these farmers, Kirin aims to improve the quality of its own products and ensure steady production.

Vietnam is the world's second-largest coffee bean producer after Brazil.

Vietnam exported $2.74 billion worth of coffee last year, down 4.2 percent from 2019, according to Vietnam Customs.

Total areas covered by coffee farming was estimated at 680,000 hectares last year, down 2 percent from 2019, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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