Vietnam’s coffee industry

French colonists first introduced coffee to Vietnam in 1857. It has become embedded in the local culture ever since. The country is currently the world’s second largest producer and exporter of coffee, after Brazil.

Most coffee-producing countries export the vast majority of their output with only a relatively small proportion being consumed domestically. World coffee exports totalled 113.1 million 60kg bags in 2012, an increase of 8.2 per cent over the previous year. Robusta exports reached a record 46.61 million bags, up from 37.53 million bags in 2011. Arabica shipments fell slightly from 67.04 million bags in 2011 to 66.52 million bags.

Despite a decline in exports of more than 15 per cent from the previous year, Brazil maintained its position as the world’s top coffee exporter in 2012 with shipments totalling 28.26 million bags, followed by Vietnam (25.47 million) and Indonesia (10.62 million).

Overview: Vietnam’s coffee industry

Vietnam’s coffee industry is expected to grow strongly in the coming years as the population continues to expand at a rate of about one million people a year and the country and the tastes of its people become more sophisticated. Increased activity at both consumer and trade levels from local and international players is another factor that is expected to fuel the industry’s growth.

Vietnam’s government in 2012 set out a master direction for the coffee industry up to 2030. The plan set to maintain the country's total coffee growing area at 500,000 hectares, with high-yield production centres for high-quality coffee focused in four key provinces –DakLak, Lam Dong, DakNong and Gia Lai. Despite the government’s efforts, however, the plantation area has continued to expand with many small, mostly family owned and run coffee farms dispersed over a wide area. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), during the 2011/12 crop year some 614,500 hectares were used for the cultivation of coffee, of which 549,100 hectares were directly involved in production, generating an average yield of about 2.4 tons per hectare.

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