Vietnam - A Business Case for Sustainable Coffee Production

IDH, Technoserve

More than 25% of Vietnam’s production is verified or certified “sustainable”. This has been achieved in a relatively short period of time as a result of exporters focusing on high-producing farmers. Most of Vietnam’s production should be verified or certified by 2016 as a result of competition for market share; we expect these same competitive forces to drive down the incremental cost of verification paid by the industry. This process will bring the entire sector to a documented, baseline compliance quickly and cheaply, but is unlikely to address Vietnam’s most pressing sustainability challenges: excessive agro-chemical use and scarce water resources. There are incentives for farmers, government and the coffee industry to address these challenges and safeguard coffee farmers’ livelihoods, long-term coffee supply, and environmental assets for future generations. However, “business as usual” is unlikely to unlock these actions. A catalyst will be required.