In the quest for excellence, one may ponder: Can post-harvest methodology training among coffee products truly make a difference? Fairtrade NAPP believes it can by bolstering producers’ expertise in techniques that transcend coffee quality to a premium standard. This commitment unfolds through comprehensive immersive training in Vietnam where participants delve into diverse post-harvest processes by refining their practices. The emphasis for this training was on honing skills in cherry selection, processing methods, and meticulous quality control. This training serves as a beacon of hope for 25 producers from 16 Small Producer Organizations by arming them with the knowledge and proficiency needed to consistently deliver superior-grade coffee.

The first day kicked off with a captivating session unfolding the mesmerizing ripening cycle of coffee cherries. Venturing beyond theory, participants embarked on a hands-on expedition to a coffee farm, where diverse samples at various ripening stages awaited scrutiny. This tactile experience by dissecting cherries for appearance, size, colour, and sugar content, helped producers to unveil the transformation of coffee ripening. The learning continued with a practical session, where participants estimated harvest yields through meticulous cherry counts across different farm sections. The training introduced a captivating array of 16 processing methods—wet, dry, semi-dry, honey coffee variants, and more. Collaborative group sessions ensued, where participants, armed with environmental insights and market demands, cherry-picked methods. Presentations became a forum for valuable feedback, shaping decisions on batch size, and processing quantity, and enhancing their understanding. This immersive journey wasn’t just about training; it was an exploration of the nuanced art and science of coffee cultivation.

The subsequent day unfolded in immersive hands-on sessions, where smaller groups of participants actively transformed freshly harvested cherries into green beans. Pulping, soaking, drying, and dehusking techniques, including honey processing and natural/dry methods, took centre stage. The training highlighted meticulous tracking of moisture content during drying, emphasizing the art of coordination among greenhouse, sun, and mechanical drying mechanisms. Participants delved into the intricacies of coffee processing to hone their skills that transform their routine tasks to become key elements in the mastery of their craft.

“The invaluable training provided by Fairtrade NAPP in coffee processing has gifted me with enhanced skills and knowledge, transforming my coffee into a treasure I deeply cherish. With newfound pride in my coffee, I stand as a proud Fairtrade member, empowered to create exceptional quality, enriching every sip with dedication and expertise.” – Than Cu, Cudliemnong Fair Agriculture Cooperative.

Day three concentrated on mastering fermenting control. Participants delved into vigilant monitoring—temperature, pH, and visual cues in wet fermentation. Strategies unfolded to prevent over-fermentation, addressing potential disruptions like power cuts. The day concluded with efforts to isolate beneficial microbes in the lab, preserving exceptional flavours for future use, marking a commitment to the art of coffee conservation.

A comprehensive feedback session became the stage for insights into participants’ future support requirements, and certificates of participation were bestowed. The immediate outcomes were profound. The impact resonated beyond skill acquisition, fostering a paradigm shift. Environmental considerations and market requirements now influence producers, encouraging a sustainable and market-driven mindset. This tangible elevation in capabilities, confidence, and adaptability lays the foundation for improved production methods and increased competitiveness in the coffee market. This intensive hands-on training proved instrumental in empowering farmer groups with advanced coffee processing skills, aligning their outputs with market demands and environmental considerations. The journey isn’t just training; it’s a transformative odyssey, shaping a future where Vietnamese coffee stands as a beacon of excellence and sustainability.

“The essence of this training transcends mere coffee quality enhancement. it’s a transformative journey. Beyond elevating the coffee’s value chain to reach more demanding markets, it’s about nurturing the hearts and minds of Fairtrade coffee producers. It’s an embrace of sustainability, a guiding light illuminating the path towards processing coffee with reverence. This training isn’t just about perfecting the art of coffee; it’s about infusing each bean with the soul of ethical production, fostering a legacy that cherishes both the earth and the cup, enriching lives, one sustainable sip at a time.” – Nguyen Huu Ha, Thuan An Fairtrade Agricultural Co-operative

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