The objective of the cocoa workshop is to create a forum for sharing knowledge and expertise, thereby proposing mechanisms, policies, and technological solutions to promote the development of a sustainable Vietnamese cocoa industry by building a unique Vietnamese cocoa brand in the world market.
|Belgium supports Vietnam in building out a sustainable value chain for cocoa and chocolate |
In the framework of the Vietnam-Belgium Strategic Partnership on the Agricultural Sector, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Royal Embassy of Belgium in Vietnam are organising the Vietnam Cocoa Workshop on supporting Vietnam’s cocoa market on November 18.
The workshop is part of the Vietnam-Belgium Strategic Partnership on the Agricultural Sector signed in 2018 with a focus on sustainability and cooperation in agriculture.
The chocolate industry is consuming over 4 million tonnes of cocoa beans from around the world, with chocolate consumption growing at an average rate of 5.7 per cent. While the chocolate industry is getting wealthier year after year, cocoa farmers are not benefiting enough from that system and remain extremely poor. Most of the cocoa supply (close to 70 per cent) comes out of West Africa where the industry problems are the most severe. If major markets such as the EU and US impose stricter regulations it will open new doors for countries with sustainable supply chains to fill the gap.
Cocoa was introduced to Vietnam by the French in the 19th century, but did not receive much interest until early 2000, when it was re-introduced to Vietnamese farmers with a cocoa programme led by Nong Lam University, together with the World Cocoa Foundation. Given the specific characteristics of Vietnamese cocoa (fine flavour, fairer value chain), Vietnam has an opportunity to rise as a new cocoa country that could shake up the status quo of the industry, one that deserves to receive support by local/foreign investors and organisations. Vietnamese cocoa received huge international recognition after it won the International Cocoa Awards in 2013, and classified as Fine or Flavor Cocoa by the ICCO in 2015 thanks to its unique fruity flavour. Although Vietnam’s cocoa production remains small, there has been keen interest from industry players who believe in the potential.
Workshop is organised in order to identify and discuss challenges and solutions for the further development of the cocoa sector in Vietnam. Specialists and experts participating to the workshop are invited to contribute to a policy frame and recommendations to develop a cocoa-chocolate chain increasing value, growth, and sustainability of the cocoa sector in Vietnam; from farmers to chocolate producers with the support and joint contribution of the Vietnamese government and interested stakeholders.