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IFC, ACOM Open Coffee Farmers’ Training Center to Help Increase Income

Lam Dong Province, Vietnam, March 7, 2012— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Atlantic Commodities Vietnam Ltd. have opened a farmer training center to help smallholder coffee farmers in Vietnam meet international certification standards, improving farm sustainability and productivity and increasing income.
The Farmer Training Center in Bao Loc district, Lam Dong province is equipped with a laboratory and uses demonstration plots to introduce farmers to sustainable agriculture. Within the first three years of operation, it aims to help about 4,000 smallholder farmers qualify for sustainability certifications for their coffee beans, which can then be sold at higher prices to global buyers.
The completion of the center marks a significant step in IFC and ACOM’s cooperation to support the Vietnamese coffee sector under an agreement signed in 2010. ACOM is a subsidiary of ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation, one of the world’s largest coffee traders. IFC has collaborated with ECOM to establish training centers in the world’s major coffee producing regions, starting in Central America in 2007.
“Adding value to our farmer suppliers through Farmer Training Centers makes good business sense for ECOM Group, helping strengthen our relation with our supplier network and improve our quality control. In the end, Vietnamese farmers will improve their farming practices towards sustainability, leading to increased earnings as well as better social and environmental practices,” said Jean-Christopher Mani, General Director of ACOM.
Some 50,000 farmers not affiliated with ACOM are also expected to benefit indirectly from exposure to best management practices, quality control training, market and price information, fertilizer recommendations, and information disseminated by the project.
“IFC and ECOM share a common interest in linking up Vietnamese coffee farmers to the global supply chain to capture the industry’s full potential. Vietnam is the largest robusta coffee producer in the world, and our long-standing cooperation with ECOM clearly shows we can create opportunities for smallholder coffee farmers through sustainable farming, improving their productivity and quality of life,” said Simon Andrews, IFC Regional Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Thailand.
In Vietnam, IFC’s advisory services are delivered in partnership with Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
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About ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation Ltd
ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation and its subsidiaries conduct commodities origination in Asia, the United States, Central and South America, Europe, and Africa. Incorporated in Switzerland, ECOM ranks among the top five leading world traders in coffee, cotton, and cocoa. The company supplies key agricultural raw materials to major manufacturers such as Nestle, Hershey, Mars, and Starbucks. It operates as a fully integrated commodity originator, processor, and merchandiser, providing primary processing, logistics, and risk management services, and selling to branded product manufacturers. For more information, visit www.ecomtrading.com/website.nsf .