NDO - Vietnam has shipped its first batch of coffee to the European Union since the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect in August.
The Gia Lai-grown coffee consignment, weighing a total of 296 tonnes and packed into 14 containers, began its journey on September 16 and is bound for Germany’s Hamburg and Belgium’s Antwerp.
Under the EVFTA, tariffs on all Vietnamese coffee products, including unroasted, roasted and processed coffee will be eliminated, while the EU also pledges to protect geographical indications for Vietnamese coffee.
Coffee is one of Vietnam’s 13 key agricultural products and contributes 3% of the country’s GDP, said deputy agriculture minister Le Quoc Doanh, adding that it is providing jobs and incomes for over 600,000 households, mainly in the Central Highlands.
Vietnam has been the world’s second largest coffee exporters for years with annual revenue of over US$3 billion and exports to the EU account for 38% of Vietnam’s total coffee export revenues.
Deputy minister Doanh stated that Vietnam’s coffee industry is striving to meet the EU’s standards on quality and sustainable development, making Vietnam the reference point for global Robusta coffee.
He said the agriculture ministry has asked local authorities to continue guiding farmers on how to grow their coffee in accordance with good practice in order to be certified by European importers.
The application of advanced techniques from cultivation to harvesting and processing has also been accelerated so as to improve the quality of coffee products.