Vietnam is the 3rd largest producer and exporter of cinnamon in the world. With an area of approximately 180,000 hectares, cinnamon cultivation is currently the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority households in remote provinces, while also contributing to the socio-economic development of many localities. Cinnamon has multiple uses in production and daily life, such as being used as a spice, fragrance, medicinal remedy, ingredient in food processing, animal husbandry, or fertilizer.
Hanoi, Vietnam – 15 November 2023, the Department of Forestry – Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), IDH, and Vietnam Pepper and Spices Association (VPSA) jointly organized the “Sustainable Development of Vietnamese Cassia” workshop.
The workshop provided a comprehensive overview of cassia in Vietnam, its challenges, directions, and sustainable development solutions; updates on new market trends related to the EU’s “Due Diligence” regulations for exports, new regulations related to exports to the United States. At the event, the organizing board also introduced and launched the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Working Group on Pepper and Spices, the Subcommittee on Cinnamon Industry, while outlining the strategy for the PPP Group for the period 2024-2025, the vision for 2030, and discussing the roles of public and private sectors, organizations, and project programs in implementing the PPP strategy.
The “Sustainable Development of Vietnamese Cassia” workshop is organized with the participation of nearly 100 delegates from relevant agencies of MARD, VPSA, key cinnamon-growing provinces such as Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Quang Nam, international organizations, Sustainable Spices Initiative (SSI), American Spice Trade Association (ASTA), and numerous domestic and international enterprises in the field of cinnamon production, processing, and trade.
At the workshop, the Decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that expand the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Working Group on Pepper to the PPP Working Group on Pepper and Spices was informed to participants, which the Forestry Department, VPSA, and IDH will co-chair the Subcommittee of Cassia. The Subcommittee will carry out key activities such as developing a strategy, vision, objectives, and a 5-year and annual action plan for the working group; implementing and monitoring the implementation of the plan, timely adjusting activities, and regularly reporting to the Permanent Secretariat Office of the Partnership on Sustainable Agriculture of Vietnam (PSAV) and the leadership of MARD.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Trieu Van Luc, Deputy Director of the Forestry Department, representing the Working Group, presented the development orientation for the cinnamon industry, which includes the following steps: 1/ Identifying land resources and cultivation areas; 2/ Improving institutional frameworks, policies, and mechanisms specific to cinnamon; 3/ Researching, selecting, cultivating, and producing cinnamon varieties; 4/ Developing raw material regions; 5/ Organizing production and developing initial processing facilities, manufacturing, and market consumption of products.
During the workshop, ASTA representatives updated the new regulations regarding cinnamon exports to the US market. SSI representatives shared valuable information about the new requirements of the European Union when importing cinnamon, such as regulations related to “Due Diligence.” In addition, domestic businesses also shared various models of farmer collaboration in building the cinnamon value chain, highlighting difficulties and proposing interventions.
Mr. Jan Gilhuis, Secretary-General of the Sustainable Spice Initiative (SSI), stated, “Vietnamese cinnamon is an extremely important raw material for SSI members, and SSI is committed and proud to partner with public and private stakeholders to contribute to the sustainable development of the Vietnamese cinnamon industry.”
Mr. Huynh Tien Dung – Country Director, IDH Vietnam shared at the event: “The public and private sectors have not just started discussing cooperation and support for the cinnamon industry. In recent times, with the connection of IDH and some non-governmental organizations, the public and private sectors have cooperated to implement many activities such as dialogue, collaboration in building training materials for farmers, coordinating with cinnamon companies to implement many sustainable cinnamon production linkage projects, piloting carbon emission measurement tools in the cinnamon supply chain… However, today’s official decision by the MARD has raised the level of public-private cooperation commitment to a new and more comprehensive level.”
About Forestry Department: is an organization under the MARD. The Forestry Department carries out the function of providing advice and assistance to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in state forest management, forest development, nature conservation, and biodiversity in forest ecosystems, forest use, forest environmental services; organizing forestry production linked to processing and trade of forest products within the state management scope of the Ministry, under the decentralization and delegation of authority by the Minister.
About the Vietnam Pepper and Spice Association (VPSA): is a social-professional organization of businesses, production and business organizations, and other organizations with activities related to the pepper industry and voluntary agricultural products established, with the purpose of gathering and uniting members, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of members, supporting each other to operate effectively, contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.