Have you ever had “cà phê sữa đá”? This is Vietnamese for a popular iced coffee in Vietnam, made with sweetened condensed milk. Often unknown to consumers, most of the coffee consumed in the EU and USA is blended with coffee from Vietnam. This makes the country the top robusta exporter in the world. What is our role in this fascinating story?
We started our operations in Vietnam in 2003, when the global coffee crisis was at its peak. It was an era in which coffee roasters and traders alike looked for solutions and partnerships to improve the long-term sustainability of the sector. In the early days, project interventions focused mainly on technical advice to improve production practices, save costs and improve product quality.
By 2007, we had established a wide network of partners, all the way up to the national government level. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development positively evaluated our projects and sought to coordinate discussions with all sector players. The idea was to design a strategy to roll out the project nationally.
Since 2009, we have supported the development of modern farmer organizations. Responding to more frequent reports in the news media on extreme weather events in the Central Highlands, HRNS recently broadened its scope of operations to include specific interventions for coffee farmers to adapt to climate change by applying a landscape level approach.
We strive to remain a pioneer, opinion leader, innovator and driver throughout Asia. In addition to our project activities, we also support all players in the value chain, particularly the vulnerable small-scale coffee growing communities, so as to safeguard a sustainable global coffee supply.