Following the ratification of a new export roadmap, Laos will be allowed to sell more coffee to European Union (EU) countries.
The plan aims to boost productivity and sustainability in production and processing while also boosting exporters’ capacity, boosting the home economy, and ensuring better lifestyles for rural residents.
The Coffee Sector Export Roadmap provides recommendations for improving quality in accordance with international standards, promoting sector vitality, and linking to global possibilities.
Small producers and businesses can also benefit from the roadmap’s sections on capacity building, organisation, and trade data.
Coffee is the major cash crop for many small-scale farmers in Laos, therefore it has a lot of potential in terms of value. Coffee is Laos’ third greatest agricultural export, which is unsurprising. In Asia, Europe, and North America, coffee is now exported to over 26 nations.
However, the coffee industry confronts significant obstacles that limit its ability to participate in regional and worldwide coffee trade. Reaching buyers in high-potential areas, enhancing systematic quality control, and expanding the sector’s productivity and sustainability are all examples of these restrictions.
Furthermore, the Covid-19 epidemic is compounding current issues and complicated the future of Lao coffee growers and businesses.
The roadmap’s unveiling brought together 80 people in person and online. The plan was developed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
The International Trade Centre provides technical support as part of the European Union’s Asean Regional Integration Support (ARISE Plus) programme, which aims to promote inclusive economic growth, climate change resilience, vulnerability mitigation, and job creation in Laos.
The Coffee Sector Export Roadmap is also in line with government aims and current sector activities, including support for the Lao Coffee Sector Development Strategy’s targets through 2025. Officials stated that the country’s continued coordination in executing the strategy is critical.
Participants expressed suggestions for the roadmap’s adoption during a conversation during the roadmap’s introduction on Friday.
“Coffee has emerged as a significant source of agricultural output and exports. The industry has much greater potential to contribute to economic growth and job creation in the future. The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Khampheng Xaysompheng, stated, “This roadmap provides a clear action plan to exploit the strengths and solve the limits in local competitiveness.”
“We see a great opportunity to sell more coffee to the EU, especially organic and fair trade certified coffee,” said Vilayvong Boudakham, the Governor of Champassak province. Consumers in Europe are willing to spend a premium price for their cup of coffee if it is organic and environmentally friendly, and if it creates respectable employment and has a beneficial social impact in communities.”
“This inclusive approach ensures that the roadmap is intended to represent the sector’s aspirations, and defines a realistic and practical path to achieve them,” said Ms Ina Mariulionyt, EU Ambassador to Laos.