As part of the Commercial Project implemented by Helvetas organization, there are more than 20 households participating in growing Vietnam organic cinnamon. Accordingly, these households have formed a cinnamon production chain. All organic cinnamon products here have been exported to EU with the price of 1.5 times higher than normal ones.
Coming Yen Bai province, it is easy to catch cinnamon trees everywhere. Cinnamon is a tree that not only brings economic benefits to each family, but also closely attaches to the cultural life of the Dao community here. Since ancient time, cinnamon has been one of the four valuable herbs. Nowadays, Vietnam cinnamon products are main ingredients in cosmetic industries and are spices in many dishes.
Going to the cinnamon hill of Mr. Trieu, a local grower in Van Yen district, we meet his family exploiting the mature cinnamon trees. He said that he planted 9 hectares of cinnamon, harvesting two crops per year. Last year, the price of dried cinnamon barks was VND 40,000 / kg. This year, the family joined the organic cinnamon growing group, which output was purchased by a spice exporting company at the price of VND 60,000 / kg.
Under organic production practices, households cannot use chemical fertilizer, herbicides or any chemicals. Cinnamon trees are also not watered, but must rely entirely on rainwater. The daily care diary must be recorded to document the project staff implementing the product certification procedure.
Taking-care jobs are more difficult, with daily weeding by hands. In return, Vietnam organic cinnamon products generate higher income. Last crop, his family pruned branches and leaves and sold cinnamon barks for a profit of VND 180 million.
Ms. Phuong, another grower, said that her family has 10 hectares of Vietnamese cassia. Initially her family planted by seeding method, which took 10 years for cinnamon trees to harvest. Ms. Phuong said: “My family harvests in a thin way, we peel every tree and then cut. Wood is sold for VND 1.2 million / m3. With 10 hectares of Vietnam cassia, we get 10 tons of fresh barks, equivalent to 5 tons of dry barks, sold for VND 250 million.”
Ms. Phuong also acts as an agent to buy cinnamon barks, then sell it to cinnamon processing factories for export. This year, she purchased 600 tons of dried cinnamon barks, of which more than 200 tons of organic cinnamon barks.
According to an expert of Helvetas Organization, the project promotes sustainable trade in natural raw materials in Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. The project was implemented from 2016 to the end of 2020, with a total budget of USD 5.4 billion sponsored by the Swiss Economic Department and implemented by Helvetas. Governmental partners have signed memorandum of cooperation in Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.
After 3 years of implementation, the project components in Vietnam have achieved good results. The project developed partnerships with eleven companies, six of whom have already sold bio-commercial products to new markets in the region and Europe.
In particular, the project has established a linking chain of Vietnam organic cinnamon in Yen Bai province, in which there are leading enterprises to buy and process products for export to EU. The Vietnam organic cinnamon production model ensures the objectives of forest development, biodiversity and natural resources.