June 29, 2022 | 13:15 GMT +7

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Wednesday- 21:04, 01/06/2022

Quintessence of Vietnamese agricultural products: Dakmark coffee

(VAN) Dakmark brand is making a name for the coffee-growing area of Dak Ha, Kon Tum province, known for its quality for hundreds of years.
Dak Ha coffee products are loved by consumers. Photo: Tuan Anh.

Dak Ha coffee products are loved by consumers. Photo: Tuan Anh.

Dak Ha coffee products to reach the world market

Nguyen Huy Hung Coffee Company Limited (Dak Ha district, Kon Tum province) was recently visited by the Secretary of Kon Tum Provincial Party Committee Duong Van Trang. The Secretary has praised the company's contributions in improving the coffee quality of Kon Tum province. He also commended the company's efforts in enhancing the brand as well as helping farmers find consumption market.

As a key coffee exporter in Kon Tum province, Nguyen Huy Hung Company was established in 200; it was formerly a coffee roasting facility. The business coordinated with farmers in 2009 to establish a community coffee production cooperative group and officially brought Dak Ha coffee to the world market.

Ms. Pham Thi Tuyet, Director of Nguyen Huy Hung Company recalled, at the end of 2008, fan acquaintance suggested that Dak Ha has a high quality coffee area, suitable for introducing the local specialties to the world market. From such suggestion, Ms. Tuyet invited her relatives to join a cooperative group and create a coffee area large enough for export.

Dak Ha coffee is exported to many countries around the world. Photo: Tuan Anh.

Dak Ha coffee is exported to many countries around the world. Photo: Tuan Anh.

Initially, many farmers did not see the benefits so they hesitated. Moreover, registering to participate in the export of the Fair Trade channel (Fairtrade) requires a certificate. At the time, registration for a certificate to participate in the assessment of coffee quality is challenging. Through hardship, the farmers unanimously joined the cooperative group to bring Dak Ha coffee to the world.

“At the time, there was almost no equipment or machinery, so only raw coffee products without labels were exported. In order to prepare for an export shipment, the cooperative group mainly labored manually, and the farmers picked out coffee beans carefully. It took over 10 days for the company to prepare 2 40-ton containers of coffee to export through the Fairtrade channel following such manual method", said Ms. Tuyet.

Less than a year later, the cooperative group exported 120 tons of coffee through the Fairtrade channel to the US, Belgium and Switzerland. The cooperative group has contributed profits from these export shipments to the welfare fund to support farmers with cultivation methods, post-harvest care, and fertilizer.

In addition to exporting through Fairtrade channel, Huy Hung Company is also currently exporting through normal channels with an average output of nearly1,000 tons/year.

In order to improve the value of coffee and increase income for ethnic minorities, the company organized a partnership between 4 parties: managers, entrepreneurs, scientists and farmers to form a sustainable agricultural production chain in 2009. In addition, the company also supports coffee production cooperative groups with Fairtrade certification, and household groups certified for coffee production following 4C, UTZ, and RFA standards. “At the time, many farmers did not believe partnerships because they were afraid of price pressure, purchasing methods, and whether coffee would make a difference for them. However, there are also many farmers who wanted to join the cooperative group to improve the quality and price of coffee", said Tuyet.

After exporting coffee through the Fairtrade channel, households' coffee are evaluated and graded with higher quality. Households have since trusted and joined the cooperative group to produce coffee for export through Fairtrade channel. The company currently partner with farmers to purchase an average of 10 tons of green coffee per year to serve the domestic market as well as export.

Dakmark branded coffee has been rated as 5 stars OCOP product. Photo: Tuan Anh.

Dakmark branded coffee has been rated as 5 stars OCOP product. Photo: Tuan Anh.

A high-class coffee brand 

Among the 20 products evaluated and recognized by the National OCOP Council (one product per commune/ward) as meeting 5-star standards in 2020, DakMark coffee of Nguyen Huy Company Hung is the only product from Kon Tum province to be recognized. This is also a 5-star OCOP product representing the pride of the ​​Dak Ha coffee growing area and Kon Tum province.

Ms. Tuyet recalls, members of the cooperative group were invited to attend a coffee conference in Germany at the end of 2011. Raw coffee products exported by the cooperative group to Germany are roasted, ground, processed into final products and sold for 100,000 VND a cup

At the time, the members wondered a kg of raw coffee is sold at only 50,000 VND, but the final processed coffee products can be sold for a few million VND.

With that concern in mind, the members of the cooperative group worked together to create powdered coffee product lines. By 2012, the private company was re-established as Nguyen Huy Hung Coffee One Member Limited Liability Company and officially launched powdered coffee products but mainly aimed towards members and farmers. It was not until 2014 that the company officially built the powdered coffee brand.

Powdered coffee products are roasted and ground normally with no difference compared to other coffee lines on the market. Afterwards, Ms. Tuyet re-thought her strategies: to build a brand for powdered coffee, she would need to create a special "highlight" for Kon Tum coffee in the country as well as in the world.

The company decided to send some members to attend training courses on coffee production and processing as well as participate in grading samples on coffee quality in order to acquire standard assessments and establish a coffee brand. As a result. Dakmark coffee band was born with the meaning of "highlight".

Ms. Tuyet said that the difference of the Dakmark coffee brand is the participation of many impoverished farmers in Dak Ha town in the company's production process. Farmers are provided with fertilizers and participate in training courses on sustainable coffee production.

DakMark Coffee is one of the pioneering filter bag coffee brands in Vietnam, manufactured from imported materials, meeting the requirements of food hygiene and safety according to international standards, and controlled following the ISO 22000-2005 system. Processed from 100% roasted Robusta and Arabica coffee beans without seasoning, DakMark filter bag coffee gives you a rich coffee taste with attractive natural scent.

Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee Duong Van Trang visiting Nguyen Huy Hung company. Photo: Tuan Anh.

Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee Duong Van Trang visiting Nguyen Huy Hung company. Photo: Tuan Anh.

However, for the Dakmark coffee brand to truly be known to many people, the quality must always be a top priority. In the past, coffee beans were often roasted in bulk, unselected, dried on the ground. Subsequently, coffee was selected more carefully, ripe cherries are chosen, ground drying and processing are more closely controlled.

“To create the Dakmark brand as well as Dak Ha coffee, in addition to the soil factors, the coffee in this region has some distinctions that cannot be found anywhere else. For example, its caffeine content is very high, and when you taste it, you can feel a very specific fruit flavor. That's why, , when participating in exporting for the past few years, Dak Ha coffee has always been regarded highly", exclaimed Ms. Tuyet.

Due to its high rating, Dakmark coffee brand has been favored by many countries such as China, Singapore and especially Korea. According to many customer reviews, Dakmark coffee has a light taste, not as strong as other types of coffee.

Reaching the 5-star standard is not an easy feat for Dakmark coffee. It must pass many strict criteria of the National evaluation board. Dakmark coffee is most likely rated 5 stars because of its sales factor. When a customer decide to import the product, that is the decisive factor for success. “For private businesses, OCOP assessment is more challenging, so we must focus on product quality as well as food safety and hygiene to ensure the strict requirements of the coffee importing countries”, Ms. Tuyet shared.

Mr. Nguyen Van Hau, Deputy Head of Dak Ha district Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, assessed that Dakmark coffee brand fully converges factors to achieve the 5-star OCOP standard. Nguyen Huy Hung Company has many years of experience in coffee production, passed down through many generations. In addition,the Company has carefully researched the market, tinkered with post-processing production technology. Furthermore, the company has many "satellites" supporting to export coffee products across the world.

In addition to the quality factor, creating jobs for farmers, export also plays an important role. On another note, the director of Nguyen Huy Hung Company is a woman, so she is even more highly regarded in the OCOP scale.

Authors: Tuan Anh - Le Khanh

Translated by Nguyen Hai Long

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