In 2014, Eatu Fair Agricultural Service Cooperative was established with the aim to support and provide raw materials and output consumptions channels for members. The activities of the cooperative includes: growing, producing, purchasing, coffee processing, fertilizer service, agricultural supplies service. The cooperative has 49 members, in which 90% are from Ede ethnic minorities.
Eatu Fair Agricultural Service Cooperative
Address: Ko Tam village, Eatu commune , Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak province
Funding organization: European Union (EU)
Implementing organization: Vietnam Rural Industries Research and Development Institute (VIRI)
Duration: 2014 – 2017
Coffee plant appears, exists and develops for a long time in Buon Ma Thuot and especially Eatu Commune. Situated on top of Dak Lak plateau, Eatu Commune has the characteristic climate of Central Highlands with 2 season: dry season and rain season suitable to develop the plant. In 2014, Eatu Fair Agricultural Service Cooperative was established with the aim to support and provide raw materials and output consumptions channels for members. The activities of the cooperative includes: growing, producing, purchasing, coffee processing, fertilizer service, agricultural supplies service. The cooperative has 49 members, in which 90% are from Ede ethnic minorities.
The cooperative operates on 3 core criteria:
– Produce and process coffee according to fair trade standards.
– Never cease to improve product quality and produce coffee sustainably.
– Develop wet processed coffee.
Coffee from the cooperative is produced according to dry process and wet process, keeping the essence of the earth and the sky with the sun and wind of Central Highlands in each coffee beans. With the skillful hands, the local people created a taste characteristic to coffee of this land only. One can say coffee has become a companion with the Ede people in all of their lives. Coffee becomes their main income. And unconsciously, Ede people has sent all their cultural value into each and all of their coffee beans.
Vietnam Rural Industries Research and Development Institute (VIRI) collaborated with Vietnam Coffee – Cocoa Association (Vicofa) to support the cooperative in getting certified with FLO on February 2016.
Eatu cooperative is one of the first two cooperative certified with FLO with the project. The cooperative has sold 80 tons of FLO certified coffee.
– Since participating in Promoting fair trade in Vietnam project, the cooperative has strictly followed fair trade principles: not using child labors and forced labors, using a production process with environment protection.
– Guaranteeing working conditions for members: safety equipments, safe working environment, guaranteed working hours.
– Capacity building, improving knowledge of members on fair trade coffee with their benefits in economics, society, and environment for the coopertative.
On economics, fair trade certified coffee has better price, contributing to improvement of economic conditions for members from selling coffee to establishing a welfare fund. Parts of the welfare fund is used to buy seedlings for fruit trees, seedlings for shade trees to protect coffee plants, ensuring fair trade processing and improving product quality. Shade trees are mainly avocado, durian, pepper, etc. to also improve income for households growing these trees by selling fruits.
On environment, the cooperative buys microbiological fertilizers for poor farmers to practice sustainable production suitable with climate change. Using microbiological fertilizers in cultivation contributes to environment protection, soil improvement, and creating clean agricultural products.
Safety in production: the cooperative equips with labor protection workwear for farmers and raincoats in rain season.
On social issues, fairness in production and benefits for members are always guaranteed, no discrimination between different ethnics.
Welfare funds support children of member families to go to school and award students from difficult financial background. Community activities are organized for children such as football clubs for children and young adults with teamwear.
Issues relating to cultural preservation of Ede ethnic minorities are of interest to the cooperative. Through community activities such as performance arts, entertainment and relaxation activities gift giving during International Children Day, etc., the cooperative contributes to maintain and preserve the culture of the area as well as unifying the community.