Living conditions of the rural population in the southern regions of Vietnam are improved due to better social, economic and environmental conditions related to agriculture.
A sustainable and efficient value chain for certified cocoa (organic, UTZ and fair-trade) is established, with increasing numbers of farmers, achieving better incomes and diversifying production.
- Sustainable cocoa farming techniques are feasible under the local context. Local cocoa farmers are able to make compost using local available resources and effectively practise biological mamagement of pests and diseases. Starting with 22 demonstration farmers in June 2009, there are now over 400 farmers converting to certified cocoa production.
- Several technical guidelines have been prepared and a number of training courses have been organised for key program stakeholders. The program has prepared important documents such as a guide for on-farm compost making and training of trainer (ToT) materials for farmer club leaders. Moreover, the program has organised a number of training courses for local staff and farmers including training on gender mainstreaming in organic cocoa production, organic agriculture, UTZ Certified, compost making and sustainable soil management.
- A multi-standard flexibility ICS is outlined and promoted in responsive to unstable markets for certified cocoa. This system allows local cocoa farmers to convert to the certification scheme that is suitable for their needs and resources. Accordingly, an ICS manual has been drafted by an international organic expert to describe the ICS organizational structure with the duties of individual actors. For promoting an effective and sustainable ICS, two certificate holders have been selected, namely the Cho Gao Cocoa Cooperative in Tien Giang Province, and Hung Thinh Co.LTD in Ben Tre Province. The two certificate holders are supported by the program to set up and run the planned ICS which meets the requirements of the different introduced certifications, starting with organic, UTZ and Fairtrade.
- Basic ICS documments have been prepared and applied. Several ICS documents such as farm record keeping documents, internal inspection reports and non-conformity policies have been prepared by the program and practised by local farmers. Moreover, a separate fermentation and purchasing system for the organic cocoa in conversion has been established for traceability purposes.