USAID Green Invest Asia partners with coffee corporate to boost sustainability in Vietnam
BANGKOK, March 30 2020 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Green Invest Asia is partnering with Jacobs Douwe Egberts – one of the world’s largest coffee and tea traders – and its non-profit partner, IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, to measure the impact of the two organizations’ joint sustainable coffee activities in Vietnam.
Vietnam is one of the world’s top producers of Robusta coffee, cultivating some 1.7 million tons in 2018-19. Nationwide, smallholder growers use more water and fertilizer than required, resulting in high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and lower profitability.
Since 2015, IDH has worked with Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) and its four key suppliers in Vietnam to reduce the carbon footprint and enhance sustainability of coffee grown in Vietnam’s Central Highlands region. Together, these suppliers trade more than half of Vietnam’s annual Robusta coffee output. Working together, IDH and JDE are supporting nearly 14,000 farming households that supply JDE to optimize their fertilizer use, improve water management, and diversify the types of crops and trees grown alongside coffee, also known as intercropping.
“We know we are moving in the right direction in some regions with carbon reduction and increased farmer profitability, but we need an in-depth carbon footprint analysis before exploring further investment into large-scale sourcing areas in Vietnam and beyond,” said Chi Tran, IDH Vietnam’s senior program manager.
“This collaboration is one more step in JDE’s commitment to work continuously toward 100-percent responsibly sourced coffee and tea by 2025,” said JDE’s sustainability manager in the Asia and the Pacific, Do Ngoc Sy. “In addition to IDH’s foundational support, we are pleased to benefit from USAID Green Invest Asia’s expertise in low-emission production, which is essential for us to calibrate our efforts and reach our sustainability goal.”
“JDE is a global heavyweight in the coffee sector,” noted Christy Owen, USAID Green Invest Asia’s director. “It offers a valuable market entry point to influence both smallholder farmer livelihoods and improve sustainable land use in the region,” she added. Other areas of coffee operations for JDE in the region include Indonesia, Laos, Papua New Guinea and China.
USAID Green Invest Asia will analyze farmer profitability alongside farm-level carbon emissions to identify the most effective interventions and business models. “It is wholly possible,” said Owen, “to transform Vietnam’s coffee sector from being a source of carbon emissions to becoming a ‘sink’ that traps emissions. In partnership, we have a fighting chance.”
 International Coffee Organization