The Vietnam Coffee Landscapes program combines two key aspects of IDH’s work: Sector commitments and sustainable sourcing with sustainable coffee production and income improvement for farmers through SourceUp and the cooperation of IDH’s landscapes and coffee work. In Vietnam we are looking to achieve sustainable coffee production on a large scale and work towards verifying multiple sourcing areas.
Coffee is one of the key agricultural products for Vietnam’s exports, which also contribute significantly to household incomes. As the second largest exporter of Coffee worldwide (Statista, 2022), Vietnam’s coffee sector is characterized by high-intensity cultivation that uses large quantities of water for irrigation, significant amounts of agro-inputs, and better tree varieties. This has resulted in some of the world’s highest Robusta yields. Vietnamese coffee growers are described to be innovators and adaptive to cultivation and variety trends, but they face a some critical issues. Climate change and extreme weather conditions put whole coffee growing regions in jeopardy. Due to rising temperatures and shifting rainfall, Vietnam is at risk to lose half of the existing Robusta growing area by 2050 (Conservation International).
In Vietnam, IDH’s coffee projects support a long-term transition towards a more sustainable and low-emission coffee production by promoting regenerative agriculture and agroforestry focusing on blended service delivery and the sustainable use of agro-inputs and water. These efforts have been done to achieve a more robust coffee production and better incomes for smallholder farmers and have been crucial to take the sustainability approach beyond certification and verification. Middlemen and local cooperatives are important partners to roll out the delivery of services in Vietnam and play an essential role in changing growing techniques. Coffee roasters support the shift to a more sustainable production by increasing the amount of direct sourcing.