Phuc Sinh Corporation, the country’s leading pepper and coffee production, trading and export company, will focus more on promoting consumption of its K Coffee brand in the domestic market, targeting a 5 per cent market share in the next five years.
Speaking at a press briefing in HCM City on Tuesday, Phan Minh Thong, its president, said his company exported 65,000-70,000 tonnes of coffee products a year, whereas domestic sales account for less than 1 per cent of that.
K Coffee products are made from UTZ-Certified coffee beans and meet BRC (British Retail Consortium) Global Standards, which guarantee a standardisation of quality, safety and operational criteria and ensure that manufacturers fulfil their legal obligations and provide protection for the end consumer, he said.
BRC Global Standards are now often a fundamental demand by leading retailers, manufacturers and food service organisations.
Thong said his company had worked with farmers to produce UTZ Certified coffee, the largest sustainability programme in the world for coffee, though initially it had faced difficulties in convincing farmers to follow UTZ standards.
To have the best-quality coffee products, besides farming techniques such as not using excessive fertilisers and plant protection chemicals, farmers must harvest when the ratio of ripe beans in a branch accounts for at least 90 per cent, whereas for a long time farmers harvested them when many were still unripe, he said.
“We have helped farmers understand this, so now they only harvest when the ratio of ripe beans exceeds 90 per cent.”
From a few farmers joining the programme to produce UTZ Certified coffee, the number has now increased to 897 with total lands of over 1,000ha in Buon Ho that produce over 2,700 tonnes of coffee a year.
This volume is modest compared to the company’s export capacity, but serves as an important step in changing the mindsets of coffee farmers, according to Thong.
Unlike many other companies that grow UTZ coffee only for exports, his company sells the same products in the domestic market too.
Viet Nam is the world’s second largest coffee exporter, but its own consumers have to use coffee mixed with other ingredients, and that is the reason why his company wants to offer local customers pure and export-quality coffee.
He hopes consumers will support K Coffee if they are offered pure, good-quality coffee at reasonable prices and told about it. — VNS