Results of the project “Promoting fair trade in Vietnam” in the first 2 years

Within a framework of the project “Promoting fair trade in Vietnam” sponsored by EU,  Vietnam Rural Industries Research and Development Institute (VIRI) leads in collaboration with Vietnam Tea Association (Vitas), Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association (Vicofa) and Vietnam Handicraft Exporters’ Association (Vietcraft) in conducting project activities and completing outlined requirements.

After two years of conducting, the project had these following successes:

– Surveyed units under 05 industries including tea, coffee, cocoa, spices and handicraft on fair trade; the aim is to evaluate current status and development potential in fair trade in Vietnamese tea, coffee, cocoa, spices and handicraft for European and Vietnamese markets, capacity and expectation as well as difficulties from businesses/SMEs to develop fair trade, views of research institutes, universities, and policy makers on developing fair trade in Vietnam;

– Published the report on Evaluation of fair trade potential in Vietnam for 5 industries tea coffee, cocoa, spices and handicraft; June 19th 2015, the project has organized a conference to announce the findings of the report for the 5 industries in Hanoi with the main contents as (1) publicize the findings of the report, (2) introduce the project, (3) raise awareness for related sides on fair trade, and (4) establish a network for fair trade businesses; the conference has attracted more than 80 representatives from business community in all above areas with participation from specialists and government agencies;

– Successfully organized 10 training course on fair trade for more than 300 business representative belonging to 5 industries tea, coffee, cocoa, spices and handicraft; providing necessary information and knowledge for businesses to further their understanding on fair trade benefits as well as their social responsibility when participating in fair trade, etc.;

– Published instruction book, handbook, guidebook and 3 types of leaflets on fair trade to broaden the reach of fair trade to all audience;

– Established and maintained website http://fairtrade.org.vn: update newest information on the project activities as well as notable news of Vietnamese fair trade;

– Published 2 articles on fair trade on Lifestyle magazine and Vietnam Economics magazine;

– Also in second year, VIRI has organized 3 showcase of fair trade in Hanoi and Hue;

– Organized international conference on fair trade in December 2015 with focus on 3 main contents (1) Status and potential of fair trade certification in 5 industries tea, coffee, cocoa, spices and handicraft in Vietnam; (2) Proposal for policies and programs for actions to develop fair trade in 5 industries; (3) International fair trade certification for agricultural and handicraft products in Vietnam (FLO and WFTO). At the same time, the conference gathered exchange between international specialists of fair trade, representatives of associations, government officials, and researchers in order to outline a more detailed and realistic orientation for Vietnamese community in general and for the 5 industries tea, coffee, cocoa, spices and handicraft in the work to develop fair trade;

–  The dialogue conference on fair trade in May 2016 in Hanoi has attracted many visitors including staffs from MoIT and MARD, specialists on fair trade and representatives of businesses interested in fair trade. The conference focused on the following contents: roles of fair trade development and fair trade market, policy proposals for developing fair trade in Vietnam, brand building and value raising for agricultural products with orientation for fair trade;

– 2 television news programs showing news of fair trade and dialogue conference on VOV and TTXVN channels.

– Shop system to introduce fair trade products are in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, HCMC with 5 shops. At these shops, not only fair trade products are introduced but fair trade businesses are also introduced there with informational documents on fair trade helping customers to learn more about fair trade;

Up to now, the project has supported 4 businesses in registering for fair trade certification for WFTO and FLO: Eatu fair agricultural service cooperative, Minh Toan Loi fair agricultural service cooperative, Bobi Craft and Fagi. In addition, the project also supported Eakiet cooperative to register for fair trade label for roasted and powdered coffee packaging.

With the aim to continue to develop and raise capacity for Vietnamese fair trade businesses, the project will continue to actively promote the work of businesses to complete the registration and reach fair trade certification as well as promoting the introduction of fair trade products in international market.