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Dung K’No Smallholders

Coffee production in Vietnam is concentrated in the Central Highlands (80%), and the small portion of Arabica grown in the country hails almost entirely from the Lam Dong province, where the K’No people are located. Dung K’No, home to the K’No people, is a commune of around 500 households, for whom the main source of income is agriculture. Some residents may also have a secondary job e.g. working for the public sector, but will likely still produce some crops to provide food and an extra income. For many families, coffee farming is the only source of cash earnings. Other crops may include rice, maize vegetables and fruit trees such as bananas and peaches; however, these are mainly reserved for personal consumption. Similarly, small scale farming of pigs, chicken and cattle are kept to provide sustenance.

  • Farm Dung K'No Smallholders
  • Varietal Catimor
  • Process Fully washed
  • Altitude 1,500 meters above sea level
  • Town / City Dung K'No Village
  • Region Lam Dong
  • Owner 180 smallholder farmers
  • Tasting Notes Black tea, brown sugar, citrus
  • Farm Size One hectare on average
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Dung K’No Smallholders

Producers in this region started growing coffee around 20 years ago, farming on very small plots (less than 2 hectares) and learning ‘on their feet’ year after year. Few, if any, had received any formal training, until in 2017, our partner in the region, who represents and provides support for several hundred small-scale Arabica producers throughout the Lam Dong province, began working with the producers of Dung K’No.

Dung K’No was selected by our partner as the region had good potential for quality production. The engagement started with meetings, interviews & training to better understand producers concerns and
needs. From these discussions, a successful purchasing model was developed. In contrast to how much purchasing in the region is conducted whereby collectors go from village to village, our partner based their model on building ‘farmer collaborative groups’; buying coffee cherry directly from the villagers. This meant that staff members were on the ground daily during the harvest season to gather freshly collected cherries. Each lot submitted was checked individually with farmers (providing lots of feedback), and cash was paid directly upon delivery. This method has ensured a large impact on quality, in turn improving the income and livelihoods of farmers.

About Vietnam

As the second leading producer of coffee, Vietnam is not known for its Arabica coffee production. Rather, it is a powerhouse producer of robusta thanks to strong government support during the recovery period after the Vietnam War. However, work at origin is helping promote Arabica production and high-quality coffee.