Global food and beverage giant Mondelez International has unveiled a new training facility for coffee farmers to promote sustainability and entrepreneurship in Vietnam. The company says this is a major step toward implementing its "Coffee Made Happy" sustainability program, which commits to investing at least $200 million to help one million coffee farming entrepreneurs by 2020.
Working with the 4C Association and supplier ACOM, Mondelez says the program will train 1,500 farmers in sustainable agricultural practices to help boost their coffee crop yields and increase the quality of their beans. The investments are expected to help farmers supply some 7,000 metric tons of coffee that meets the 4C standard and improve the livelihoods of around 5,000 families in farmers' coffee growing communities.
"Coffee Made Happy is focused on helping farmers to become more successful entrepreneurs by working with partners to improve coffee production and business skills," said Hubert Weber, President of Global Coffee at Mondelez International. "Farmers are learning how to manage their businesses more effectively through simple tools like profit-and-loss log books, and they're using new skills to grow more coffee with fewer resources, leading to more productive and profitable farms."
Mondelez International is the world's second largest coffee company, which owns brands such as Jacobs, Carte Noire and Kenco. As one of the largest coffee buyers in Vietnam, the company says it hopes to leverage its scale to make a significant impact.
The Vietnam investment comes as part the company’s goal to sustainably source 100 percent of its coffee in Western Europe by 2015. The company claims it is more than two-thirds of the way to achieving the goal, with more than half of all coffee beans grown in the Central and Eastern European markets already sustainably sourced.
Over the next two years, Mondelez International says it plans to invest more than $1 million in Vietnam and Indonesia to support Coffee Made Happy programs, in cooperation with the IDH Sustainable Coffee Program to scale up sustainable coffee in both countries.
In related coffee news, Starbucks announced in March the expansion of its $70 million ethical sourcing program with a new farming research and development center in Costa Rica, as part of its ongoing commitment to ethically sourcing 100 percent of its coffee by 2015. In addition to supporting resiliency for farmers around the world, the agronomy center will also influence the development of coffee varietals based on the insight offered through soil management processes, which could offer significant advantage in the development of future blends.