Kirin helping Vietnamese coffee farms improve product quality, protect environment

08, Apr. 2020

Photo by Wherda Arsianto on Unsplash
Photo by Wherda Arsianto on Unsplash

TOKYO, NNA – Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings Co. has started helping Vietnamese coffee growers improve bean quality while reducing environmental impacts.

Kirin announced Tuesday that from this month it would lead growers in the coffee-rich Southeast Asian country to get valuable sustainable-agriculture certificates from the New York-based environmental NGO Rainforest Alliance.

The move dovetails with environmental goals Kirin has set for 2050.

Kirin first picked 400 small coffee farms for the project. Scholars commissioned by the brewer will analyze the farms, organize them into groups and train group leaders who can in turn train other growers, it said in a statement.

Vietnamese coffee plantations are often small to start with and let their harvests decline due to misuse of chemical fertilizers, the statement said. Many of those growers lack access to education, Kirin has found.

Rainforest Alliance certification assists farmers to produce better crops, adapt to climate change, increase productivity and cut costs, the NGO’s website says. The certification further appeals to customers and builds the grower’s international brand credibility.

The Kirin group imported about 30 percent of its coffee beans from Vietnam in 2019, second only after Brazil at 55 percent. The group’s Kirin Beverage Co. uses Vietnamese beans to make its “Kirin Fire” brand of canned coffee among other products.

Kirin Holdings has aided Sri Lankan tea farms since 2013 in the same vein. The group had helped 87 large farms win sustainable agriculture certifications from Rainforest Alliance by the end of 2019. The company began doing water resources protection and other activities in the country in 2018.

Kirin Holdings is considering an offer to improve water quality in parts of Vietnam that grow coffee.