DAK LAK, Vietnam, 2 July 2018 – Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) announced today the launch of a new coffee sustainability project to benefit some 3,000 farmers in Vietnam’s Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Gia Lai provinces, in the country’s coffee-producing Central Highlands region.
Organized in partnership with global coffee and tea company Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) and leading agricultural solutions company Syngenta, the three-year, USD 1 million project will train farmers in climate change resilience techniques, agro-chemical management, and work safety.
Hidde Eikelboom, LDC Vietnam CEO and Country Head of Coffee, said: “LDC has been present in Vietnam since 1998, with coffee merchandizing, processing and agronomy as our main operating activities. This project reaffirms our commitment to increasing Vietnam’s production of sustainably grown coffee, while improving long-term profitability for the farmers who grow it.”
Duoc Nguyen, LDC Vietnam Coffee Sustainability Manager, added: “Alongside our like-minded project partners, JDE and Syngenta, we will work with Vietnamese coffee farmers to meet growing industry demand for product traceability and food safety, while also ensuring farmer welfare.”
Cindy Lim, Head of Sustainable Productivity, Syngenta Asia Pacific, said: “This project will provide coffee farmers in the Dak Lak region with the practical skills to grow coffee, using inputs such as crop protection products more efficiently. This is critical for the coffee value chain. Farmers need to increase their production sustainably, supplying safe and affordable beans, while minimizing their environmental impact.”
Do Ngoc Sy, JDE’s Sustainability Manager for Asia Pacific, said: “JDE recognizes the various environmental and social issues that go with coffee cultivation. As part of our Responsible Sourcing Program, we engage openly with direct suppliers such as LDC to tackle these sustainability challenges. Our joint project with LDC and Syngenta will focus on the improper use of agro-chemicals, unsafe working conditions and climate change. We recognize that the complexity of these issues may take years and the commitment of multiple stakeholders to address, but we are on the right path of doing so.”
A key aspect of the project will be the development of 30 demonstration plots, each between 1 and 2 hectares, where new techniques for soil and fertilizer management, the use of crop protection products, intercropping and water irrigation systems will be implemented. The most successful techniques will then be replicated across 300 hectares of coffee farms.
To promote a more responsible use of crop protection products and fertilizers, the project will test the soil and take expert advice on the optimal quantity of nutrients for coffee farming. A list of banned and dangerous chemical substances will be compiled for each province, along with a recommended list of fertilizers and crop protection products, which farmers will be trained to access and apply.
Farmers will also learn aspects of work safety such as environmental and crop risk assessment, and the use of standard safety equipment. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be supplied to farmers and spraying workers.
To build local capacity in farm management, agro-chemical management and work safety, various technical tours, seminars and workshops, as well as Training of Trainers (TOT) and Farmer Field School (FFS) sessions, will be organized for 3,000 farmers, 300 agriculture students, 44 farmer group leaders and four agronomists within the targeted communities.
This project follows a similar initiative by the three companies in 2016, which reached out to another 3,000 farmers within the Central Highlands region. This brings the total number of beneficiary farmers to 6,000 for both projects combined.
Louis Dreyfus Company is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods. We leverage our global reach and extensive asset network to serve customers and consumers around the world, delivering the right products to the right location, at the right time – safely, responsibly and reliably. Our activities span the entire value chain from farm to fork, across a broad range of business lines (platforms). Since 1851 our portfolio has grown to include Oilseeds, Grains, Freight, Global Markets, Coffee, Cotton, Sugar, Rice, Juice and Dairy. We help feed and clothe some 500 million people every year by originating, processing and transporting approximately 80 million tons of products. Structured as a matrix organization of 6 geographical regions and 10 platforms, Louis Dreyfus Company is active in over 100 countries and employs approximately 18 000 people globally. For more information, visit www.ldc.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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