Cud Lie Mnong Fairtrade Agriculture Cooperative (CUDLIEMNONG) is located in Cu Mgar, in the central highlands of Vietnam.
The central highlands region of Vietnam consists of the five provinces; Lam Dong, Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Gia Lai and Kon Tum, covering a total area of 54,700 square kilometers, equal to 16.5 percent of the country’s land mass. The region has a population of more than 5.1 million. Located on a plateau at an average altitude of 500-600 meters, the region has more than two million hectares of basalt soil suitable for growing Robusta coffee, rubber, pepper and tea. It has a total of 434,000 hectares of coffee plants, 80 percent of the country’s total coffee growing area. Cud Lie Mnong consists of 14 villages. The main crops in this area are coffee (mainly robusta), pepper and rubber.
In early 2008, the Dakman Company (a coffee processing company) began to work on improving the quality of coffee from the farmers in this area. They organised and provided training on 4C (Common Code for the Coffee Community Association) standards and GAP (Good Agriculture Practice). Then Dakman helped the farmers from the area to set up the producer group, CUDLIEMNONG. The cooperative received Fairtrade Certification in 2009 and currently has 84 members.
The investment for the coffee production (such as fuel for water pumps and fertilisers) comes mainly from the sales of coffee which the farmers store after harvest season and sell when they need cash for expenses. The cooperatives annual production capacity of Robusta green bean is approximately 346 tons but during the 2011/12 harvest productivity increased to 398 tons, 369 of which was sold as Fairtrade. Members have on average 0-4 hectares of land each for growing coffee.
Benefits of Fairtrade
CUDLIEMNONG have used Fairtrade Premium funds for various projects:
- Community development projects (20% of the premium)
- Improvements to infrastructure, including the construction of a coffee storage building and administrative offices (52% of the premium)
- Direct support to members to help them increase productivity and quality (28% of the premium)