China and the coffee market give you lots of information

China and the coffee market give you lots of information

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In a street renovated for Buon Ma Thuot’s seventh biennial coffee festival, tourists sat in cafes watching children sing and dance in the traditional dress of the Ede people.

>> See More: Specialty Coffee in Da Nang end Roastery Coffee in Da Nang

Propaganda posters in the Soviet style hung by the road, depicting ethnic minorities above bold red slogans calling people to construct their homeland and uphold high moral standards. Many people in the central highlands of Vietnam belong to a minority such as the Ede or the Jarai.

“Everyone here plants coffee, and coffee is a part of our culture,” said Mr Eban, in the farm he inherited from his grandparents, who used to grow coffee for the French. He explained he’s fine without breakfast but “would never wake up without coffee.”

Further up the Mekong river, China also wants a slice of coffee fame. Though far behind the major coffee countries in terms of production, growth has been rapid. By the end of this year it plans to be using 133,000 hectares to grow coffee, more than triple the 2010 area. In its three-year plan for the coffee industry, the Yunnan Agriculture Department announced a focus on “high quality” to make Yunnan coffee “famous internationally.”

“There’s a huge potential… Yunnan could become Asia’s coffee centre,” reads the plan.

How coffee is grown and plantations expand is extremely important given the pressure coffee growing can put on the environment, particularly water sources and forest. Recognizing this, Yunnan is taking measures to promote organic coffee farming.

Tradition and ambition

China is a tea-drinking country but coffee consumption is growing rapidly. International franchises like Starbucks and Costa have reached almost every big city, while Chinese brands like Luckin Coffee are emerging. Over the last decade coffee consumption has grown at an average rate of 16% each year, compared to a world average of 2%, according to the International Coffee Organization.

Despite the coffee fever in urban China, farmers in Yunnan have little connection to the drink their plants become. Li Yemei doesn’t drink coffee and has never heard of mocha or cappuccino. Coffee is merely a cash crop for her, no different from rubber or mango. Unlike her counterparts in Vietnam, she brews a pot of tea to start the day.

The dark and aromatic tea grown where she lives in Pu’er is world famous.

Huang Xujing, deputy chief of the Pu’er Coffee Association, wants to make Pu’er coffee as famous as Pu’er tea.

It’s a challenging aim. When she brought samples to the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition this year, many people had no idea that tea wasn’t the only hot drink coming out of Yunnan.

“Yunnan has been planting coffee silently for too long,” said Huang. “It’s time for the world to know we have high-quality coffee.”

When Huang visits coffee farmers she always brings a bean grinder and a French press. She believes farmers who have tasted and enjoyed coffee care more about cultivation.

As part of the growth efforts, this year Pu’er established the Tea and Coffee Industrial Development Centre, where Huang works. “Pu’er is the heaven of Arabica coffee”, states a board outside her office.

However, a booming demand for low-cost coffee is putting pressure on coffee-growing areas already suffering serious deforestation from agricultural activities. According to Greenpeace, by 2013, only 9% of Yunnan’s forest was still primary, because “many high-quality forests have vanished and been converted into plantation”.

Fifty-three-year-old farmer Xing He has to use herbicides and chemical fertilizers three times a year to boost production. And even a light rain can wash away the soil from mountain slopes where the coffee plants grow. Pointing to the reddish river water mixed with mud, Xing said: “The mountain can’t hold soil anymore. The fertilizers are all wasted.”

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>>https:43factory.coffee/en/china-and-vietnam-need-sustainable-coffee-farming.html
 
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