Since 1997, we have managed several projects in Vietnam involving tea, herbs and spices. We collaborate closely with Vivang company.
Tea, ginger, turmeric, laos, cinnamon and star anise are just some of the products that we purchase via Vivang company. They manage the certification of farmers, collect the products and arrange shipping to the Netherlands. Vivang company works closely with hundreds of farmers in 3 northern provinces of Vietnam.
Many of these farmers live in mountain villages which often can only be reached by moped or on foot. The farmers co-operate to do the processing locally, and entire villages are involved in this process. Vivang company supports this local processing activity and contributes to the necessary water utilities and processing locations. This methodology is a
guarantee for good quality.
We are co-ordinating a green tea project around the Vietnamese village of Suoi Bu. We help the local population with the tea production and take care of practical training. Before green tea was discovered in Suoi Bu, this mountain village had been cut off from the rest of the world. The population, about 50 families, was very poor and opium abuse was high. The villagers survived on small-scale farming. The development of tea production has brought an end to this hopeless situation.
Practically everyone now has a job and a reasonable income. In addition, we pay good prices for their tea. This means the whole village benefits from the tea production. Everyone has the prospect of a safe future.
Another project that we support is the improvement of the school and education for young children. A good education is after all the foundation for a better life.
Yen Bai has a small, old wooden school. The school only has one room. The village children still went to school here during the past term: the small children in the morning and older ones in the afternoon. This meant there was an opportunity for all children to follow basic education. However, in the meantime, the building has deteriorated and the children can no longer go to school. Fortunately, a village hall has been built where the children have found a temporary shelter. Plans exist to build a new school and a new location has been earmarked by the town authorities. The project is managed by Mr. Ban Thua Chieu (chairman of the farmers club for Fairtrade) and Mr. Trinh (manager of the tea factory in Nam Cai). The two gentlemen are now waiting for the district's approval, the construction plans and costs. Despite all the steps that have been taken, the village is ultimately dependent on donating parties in order to make this project financially viable. Our company has worked together with the farmers from this region for many years and we have decided to support this special project with a financial contribution. We hope that this will contribute to providing a good future for the villagers and in particular the children.