The Vietnam Cacao and Coffee Association (VICOFA) has urged coffee growers and processors to constantly improve the quality of coffee beans and products following the International Coffee Organisation’s recent warning of the CQP standard of Vietnamese coffee.

At its meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 6 to discuss orientations for the production, trading and export of coffee of the 2009-2010 crop, the VICOFA also asked coffee growers to well abide by internationally-applied principles, including GAP, ICM, IPM and GMP, when they plan to expand coffee plantation.

The association reported that the coffee-growing acreage in Vietnam shrunk by 500 ha from 2008 to 521,000 ha in total.

The acreage is estimated to yield a total bean output of about 1.05 million tonnes in the 2009-2010 crop, which is slightly less than the previous crop due to storms, especially the recent typhoon Ketsana, which affected around 7,000 ha of coffee in the Central Highlands – the country’s major coffee growing area.

In the first nine months of this year, Vietnam shipped abroad 880,000 tonnes of coffee for 1.3 billion USD.

The country plans to export up to 1.15 million tonnes of coffee for the whole year, up 14.9 percent over last year, expecting to earn 1.75 billion USD, which represented a decrease of 19.2 percent due to impacts from the global economic crisis.

Vietnam has so far exported coffee bean and coffee products to 88 countries and territories around the world./.