On June 29th, 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) collaborated with the European Union Delegation to Vietnam and the IDH to organize the Conference on “Deforestation-free coffee production and supply in compliance with European Union regulation”. The conference was co-chaired by Minister of MARD, H.E. Le Minh Hoan and Mrs. Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General of the Directorate-General Environment of the European Commission (EC) and the participation of H.E. Giorgio Aliberti, Ambassador of the European Union in Vietnam and Mr. Pham S, Vice Chairman, Lam Dong Provincial People’s Committee with the participation of over 100 delegates, including representatives from departments under MARD, local authorities in the Central Highlands provinces and districts, EU member states, coffee associations, and businesses, as well as domestic and international organizations.
The conference’s objective is to share an overview of the requirements of the new European Union Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR), the opportunities and challenges that this regulation may bring to the Vietnam coffee sector, and propose solutions to support coffee sector to meet the new regulations within the 18-24 month preparation period of the EU. In addition, the National action plan for Vietnam coffee sector to comply with EUDR was also presented for the first time to key representatives of the Vietnam coffee sector and relevant international organizations.
At the conference, Minister of MARD Le Minh Hoan emphasized that
The European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), which is expected to take effect from December 2024, will directly affect stakeholders in the supply chains of wood products, rubber, and coffee, and impact the livelihoods of farmers, especially smallholder farmers who make the majority of Vietnam. Supply chains will face many challenges particularly in terms of location data, traceability, monitoring systems, and deforestation free supply chain management. MARD considers compliance with this regulation not only necessary to meet the requirements of the EU market for exporting key commodities, but also an opportunity to accelerate the implementation of Vietnam’s agricultural development strategy towards transparency, responsibility, sustainability, and green growth.
Minister Le Minh Hoan also highly appreciated the cooperation and support of the EU in recent times, contributing significantly to the process of transforming Vietnam’s agriculture sector towards a ‘transparent, responsible, sustainable and green growth’ development. Pioneering policies of the EU such as the Green Deal; From Farm to Fork; Circular Economy, etc. have inspired and provided important references for MARD in developing strategies for sustainable agriculture and rural development as well as sub-sector strategies.
“90% of global deforestation is driven by agriculture. […] As major consumer market, the EU has a major role to play. This is why the EU has recently adopted the EU Regulation to fight deforestation. Due diligence and strict traceability obligations will apply, without discrimination for all relevant products. The EU is committed to support Vietnam’s sustainable development. By combining our strengths, the EU and Vietnam aim to address environmental challenges more effectively, contributing to the overall well-being of Vietnamese citizens and the preservation of the country’s unique natural heritage.,” Ms. Florika Fink-Hooijer, emphasizing the EU’s commitment in her speech at the conference.
Ms. Tran Quynh Chi, Regional Director, Asia Landscapes, IDH stressed the importance of public-private partnership to implement EUDR compliance solutions in Vietnam:
Vietnam agriculture in general and particularly the coffee sector has a good ground for multi-stakeholders collaboration to promote sustainable development over many years. However, the introduction of EUDR will be an important milestone for a critical transformation of the whole sector towards transparency and sustainability, complying with the various requirements of the markets and buyers like deforestation and degradation-free, low emission and smallholders livelihood. With nearly 10 years of experience implementing the Central Highlands Landscape program with public agencies and companies, like JDE Peet’s, Simexco, Intimex, ECOM and LDC, IDH will closely collaborate with national and local partners in Vietnam to deploy the comprehensive interventions to comply with EUDR. At the same time, we call for the participation and contribution of interested companies, organizations in the EUDR Action Framework, to deliver significant impacts on responsible production, natural resources protection and social inclusion.
As one of the world’s leading coffee buyers, JDE Peet’s reinforced their commitment to co-finance and contribute to the implementation of the EUDR Action Framework:
JDE Peets is well aware of our role to support the sustainable development of coffee sector over the world. Therefore, in the face of the EU’s new regulations on deforestation-free and forest degradation-free supply chains, JDE Peet’s is committed to closely collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the authorities of the Central Highlands provinces, IDH, and businesses to develop and implement comprehensive innovative solutions. These efforts aim to help the Vietnamese coffee industry quickly meet these new regulations. Through this public-private partnership, we believe that we will create positive changes, contribute to the protection of forest resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and at the same time, improve the livelihoods of farmers, especially coffee farmers in high-risk areas.
For more information:
Published on the website of the EU Delegation in Vietnam here