ASEAN Farmers’ Organisations Support Programme
Southeast Asia has the ideal climate and geography for coffee cultivation. With a strong coffee culture and expertise in production, a thriving industry has emerged. The ASEAN Community Vision 2025 also acknowledged coffee as a natural starting point for agricultural cooperatives to engage in global value chains. As part of the EU-funded AFOSP, an exchange visit was made to Pakse, Lao PDR in November 2019, which aimed to introduce coffee cooperatives to value chain management and geographical indications (GI) cer tification. Participants discussed challenges such as market access, and learned about best practices on fair trade certification, cooperative business management and international marketing. A field visit demonstrated how to make value added coffee products such as soaps, lip balm and coffee jam, enabling participants to expand their businesses.
We recognise that cooperative work plays an important role in stimulating the socio-economic development of many countries and is vital to reducing poverty and ensuring sustainability.Kongkeo Vongpaseuth, Director General of DRDC, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Lao PDR