Son La: Finding solutions to protect the environment in coffee processing
On August 23, 2022, Son La Provincial Union of Science and Technology Associations in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Son La Coffee Association held a workshop on "Current situation and solutions to protect the environment in coffee processing in Son La province".
Pictureof the Workshop
The workshop was co-chaired by Mrs. Pham Thi Ha, Secretary of the Party - President of the Son La Union, Mrs. Le Thi Thu Hang, Deputy Director of Son La Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Mr. Vuong Van Hai - Chairman of Son La Coffee Association. Attending the workshop were representatives of leaders of the Provincial People's Committee, the Provincial People's Council, the Provincial Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee, representatives of departments, mass organizations of the province, the People's Committee of the city, Mai Son and Thuan Chau districts, businesses, cooperatives, coffee growing and processing households in the province.
Currently in Son La, there are 07 preliminary processing facilities of green coffee at the industrial scale. The total output of processed fresh fruit coffee is over 90,000 tons per year (accounting for nearly 50% of the provincial coffee fruit output) and mainly by marinating method. There are also 05 coffee processing units reaching 500-1,000 tons/year. Since 2017, Son La coffee produce has been granted with geographical indication protection titled “Son La Coffee” by the National Office of Intellectual Property. Up to now, 6 coffee production and processing organizations have been granted the right to use the geographical indication of "Son La coffee"; 02 coffee products granted OCOP certification, of which one is a 5-star pure powdered coffee product; and one 4-star coffee husk tea product.
However, coffee production still faces many difficulties. Although the coffee growing area is increasing rapidly, some areas are scattered. The transformation of the variety structure is still limited, mainly Catimor coffee varieties. The old coffee area accounts for a relatively high proportion. Moreover, coffee cultivation depends heavily on natural conditions and complex topography, which lead to the application of unsustainable technical processes. In addition, coffee production has not been aligned with climate change adaptation, which has affected the productivity, quality and efficiency of intensive farming investment of producers.
The value chain of the commodity industry from production, quality control to purchasing, processing, preserving and consuming products as well as branding and trade promotion has not been closely linked; the types of coffee production and business organization reveal many shortcomings. Coffee processing at household scale and other processing facilities has impacts on the environment.
At the workshop, delegates discussed the following issues: state management of the environmental protection in coffee production and processing in the province; technology appraisal, research and application of waste treatment technology; current situation and environmental protection solutions to coffee processing; protection of domestic water sources and solutions to ensure water supply in case of environmental incidents; evaluation on application of waste water treatment technologies; other by-products of coffee plants and treatment plans, etc.
Given the outcomes of the workshop, the provincial Union will synthesize and propose solutions, build up mechanisms and recommend policies to provincial authorities to develop a sustainable coffee production in alignment with environmental protection of the province.