The future of the Vietnamese Coffee is taking a new turn as new sustainability initiatives are set in motion. During the Vietnam Coffee Coordination Board (VCCB) both public and private sector recognized the Country Platform’s achievements by renewing its engagement to the Platform. One concrete example was the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed to push forward the implementation of GCP’s reporting tool pilot in the country.
VCCB’s meeting was chaired by Mr Le Quoc Doanh –Vice Minister of Ministry of Agricultural & Rural Development (MARD) and cum vice chairman of VCCB– who emphasized the importance of connecting the private companies with VnSat’s cooperatives and digitalizing the coffee sector through the support of GCP’s reporting tool. He also stressed the advantages of the application and how its pilot should be scaled up in the future. The tool could unlock available resources depending on the results of its pilot phase. Hence, all parties will have to work collectively. VCCB organized its yearly assembly in Dak Lak province on April 20th. The meeting was held with 40 official members of VCCB and other observers from both public and private sector.
The progress of the reporting tool developed by GCP, with the pilot in Di Linh district, Lam Dong province, was also shared with VCCB’s members. During the meeting, a MoU was signed between the VCCB, the Di Linh local authorities and GCP, confirming the roles and responsibilities of the three parties in conducting the data collection process in the piloting phase. The MoU set a milestone to kick-off the pilot, offering promising collaboration in pushing up the digitalizing of the coffee sector.
The discussions during the meeting led to agree that one of the key focus for VCCB would be promoting the linkage between private companies and cooperatives, as this would help sustain the operation of cooperatives and bring more income to farmers. Some agreements between those parties have been signed already, marking a milestone in joint action: Simexco and Eatan cooperative, G20 and Kim Thien cooperative, Vinh Hiep and La Gon Coffee Cooperative, Ho Phuong and Tram Hanh Cooperative, for example.
The participants also recognized GCP’s role in contributing to the revision of the National Sustainability Curriculum (NSC), making sure the most updated knowledge, especially related to climate change adaptation, was integrated into the material. The board confirmed that the NSC would be widely used in agricultural extension activities to increase the adoption of sustainable practices at farm level. Additionally, the secretariat of VCCB would be empowered soon to synthesize information of different programs, coordinating activities, developing the website and supporting further activities of the sub-committees. VCCB would also make more efforts on increasing its membership, engaging the participation of private companies, and farmers organizations. The meeting was also an ideal chance for the Department of Cooperative and Rural Development, Department of Water Resources to share what they were doing and how they could support the activities of VCCB while connecting ever further with the farmers.
The attendees had the chance to understand the goals VCCB achieved in 2017, as well as the emerging issues and development of strategies for the coffee sector; the priorities of VCCB for 2018 and the focus of the Global Coffee Platform in supporting the sector in the next years. The board also discussed the establishment of a research group and its operational mechanism to support VCCB further in such activities.
In conclusion, the meeting has worked out a roadmap for VCCB to take a bigger role of coordinating key actors and push the Vietnamese coffee sector towards ambitious sustainability goals, while encouraging the dialogue between cooperatives and private companies for potential cooperation initiatives and unveiling the potential of GCP’s reporting tool pilot, which the participants recognized as a crucial instrument for Vietnam’s management bodies to obtain better governance and accelerate their own country’s sustainability journey.
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