Since Vietnam joined the International Coffee Organization (ICO), the coffee industry has experienced three crises, with the first occurring in 1991 when the ICO removed the quota system, causing the price of Arabica coffee to drop from US$4,000 per tonne to US$3,000 per tonne.
The second happened in 2000 when the price of Robusta coffee dropped to US$400 per tonne, and the third took place last year when the price fell by between US$1,300 and US$1,400.
Addressing this thorny issue, almost all coffee businesses have participated in e-commerce trading platforms, marketing the products in London and New York. Private firms have also moved to swiftly set up websites in order to sell their coffee products online, with on-demand home delivery services witnessing rapid growth.
Aside from serving customers at coffee shops, take-away services have also been added to allow customers to increase the efficiency of doing business whilst simultaneously ensuring COVID-19 preventive measures are in place.
Several businesses have also invested in processing roasted, ground, and instant coffee as a means of catering to consumers’ diverse tastes. They have taken advantage of opportunities in exporting coffee beans to markets that the country has signed free trade agreements with.
Besides foreign firms such as Nestle, Olam, Ca phe Ngon, and Tata, several Vietnamese enterprises including Tin Nghia Corporation, Intimex Group, An Thai Company, and Viet My Company have poured capital into intensive processing by building instant coffee factories with popular names.
Most notably, small roasting facilities that specialise in processing specialty coffee for a chain of between 10 and 20 coffee shops by using coffee machines have also witnessed rapid growth.
Furthermore, Trung Nguyen Legend has recently launched its official brand store on Amazon, marking an important step toward bringing local coffee to the world via e-commerce platforms.
With regards to this strategic move, a representative of Trung Nguyen Legend says despite initial encouraging results, there remains a long journey ahead for the group as it attempts to popularize its brand globally, adding that e-commerce channels will develop further in line with consumer trends.
Despite an array of challenges facing the global economy caused by COVID-19, the coffee industry aims to expand markets, participate in supermarket chains in foreign countries to distribute processed coffee, and accelerate the sale of coffee through the e-commerce system.
The industry will boost consumption of coffee products within the domestic market and maintain its position as the world’s second largest coffee producer and exporter, whilst increasing the added value of coffee beans and stabilising the lives of 640,000 coffee growing households nationwide.