The Guardian just published a forward-looking article about the fall and rise of Vietnam’s coffee industry as the world’s second largest exporter of the product aims for sustainable practices to improve the quality of both its product and its environment.
First introduced by the French in 1857, coffee plantations were devastated during the Vietnam War, then emerged from the ashes to lead the world in Robusta production — and provide $1.5 billion in exports, 3% of Vietnam’s GDP, and employment for 2.6 million.
In the process, forests were destroyed, excessive fertilizers deployed, water wasted, soil degraded, the environment ignored. Now the Rainforest Alliance, the 4C Association and the Fairtrade Foundation are working with Kraft and Nestle to promote sustainable practices and a better product.
The timing is ideal. As Chinese and Indian consumers develop a taste for coffee, future consumption will skyrocket. Coffee drinkers worldwide will be looking to Vietnam for all it can supply.
More on Vietnam’s coffee future