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How Vietnam Became One of the Largest Coffee Producers

It is well-known fact that coffee is extremely popular in Vietnam. Its production accounts for more than 1.7 million tons annually, which makes it one of the largest coffee producers in the world. Moreover, Vietnamese coffee is a significant part of national income and is exported to numerous countries. Thus, Vietnamese coffee may be seen almost everywhere. So how this country became such an important and big coffee supplier?

Initially, coffee was brought in Vietnam by French colonists

In the second half of the 19th century Vietnam became the part of French Indochina, which covered territories of the modern Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In 1857 French Catholic priest brought an Arabica tree in the country in order to establish small coffee venture. Later it was planted in several northern Vietnamese provinces such as Ha Nam and Phu Ly. During further decades it had been distributed along the whole country. By 1890s the French created developing and expanding coffee industry in Vietnam, especially in the Annam region (Central Vietnam).

Until the late 1900s, there was only Arabica grown in Vietnam. It was considered that this coffee variety doesn’t bring high revenue, so French colonists decided to bring another coffee from Congo. In 1908 they introduced 2 new coffee varieties (Robusta and jackfruit coffee – liberica) and started to grow them in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. There, coffee grew strongly and coffee planting area was expanded really quickly.

Highlands became the largest and the most popular area for planting such coffee variety as robusta. The most famous place that is well-know both within the country and abroad is Buon Ma Thuot, Central Highlands. By the year of 1950, Vietnam became the top coffee producer in Asia.

The Vietnam war and slow down of production
In 1955 the Vietnam War was started. As a result, a lot of the whole industries and enterprises, including the ones specialized in producing coffee, went through tough times: the manufacturing process was slowed down or even stopped, a lot of companies went bankrupt and had to shut down the production. In such conditions coffee industry was damaged a lot. The war was ended in 1975, but it took more than 10 years for the government to start taking actions. In 1986 the Communist Party in Vietnam carried out a series of reforms to restore coffee industry and economy in general.

Thanks to the support of domestic business and thoughtful foreign trade policy, the country was opened to the international trade. And one of the most important products that it could offer was coffee as its production grew by 20-30% every year in the 1990s. By the late 1990s, Vietnam had become the world's second largest coffee producer after Brazil, it was mostly focused on Robusta beans.

Modern situation

Vietnam maintains the position of one of the coffee leaders on the international market. During the period of 2000-2010 coffee production grown from 900.000 tons to 1.13 million tons; by 2020 it increased more than half of a million and reached nearly 1.7 million tons. Today, 20% of the world’s total production of coffee in general and 40% of the world’s Robusta beans comes from Vietnam. More than 3 million Vietnamese citizens depend on agricultural coffee industry and are directly involved in coffee production – not including the employees of the tens of thousands of coffee shops nationwide.

Coffee really means a lot not only to Vietnamese and their culture, but to national economy too. It contributes a lot to well-being of the people and the whole country.

We created our carefully selected & expertly roasted Mr. Viet coffee to help Vietnam represent its coffee in the best way, and link country’s local farmers with coffee lovers around the world. Taste authentic Vietnamese products and feel the connection with Vietnamese culture and history!

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