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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

ALSPEAC Spirit brings Coffee as ASEAN identity

“I am very pleased to meet other farmers from ASEAN countries to share and to learn about the coffee production, management, experiences, and cooperatives.” – said Bounthong Thepkaisone from Lao PDR.

Organized by ASEAN Foundation (AF), in partnership with Asian Farmers' Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) and La Via Campesina (LVC) with the support of EU, IFAD and Swiss Development, ALSPEAC gathered farmers’ organization, governments (ASEAN SectoralWorking Group on Agricultural Cooperatives/ASWGAC), and private sectors from participating ASEAN countries to discuss the challenges and opportunities in coffee production, processing and marketing.

The ALSPEAC is a continuation of the ASEAN Learning Route (ALRAC) that facilitates peer to peer learning in the areas of farmer empowerment and participation in the global value chain. The learning enables farmers and their organizations to make their own, independent decisions with regards to services for members on production, creating market opportunities as well as improving women participation along the value chain.

“We provide them (the participants) to meet the network between cooperative to cooperative and cooperative to the private sector,” said Shunya Jonthun – a government representative from Thailand.

The 3 days events highlighted on panel discussion on ASEAN coffee standard, best practices, existing policy, field visit activity, group discussion, and also cupping and brewing performances.

Through the brewing and cupping session, the ASEAN coffee is proven to have lots of uniqueness in taste components. Surprisingly, instead of being consumed locally, ASEAN coffee is more popular to be sold in the International market. This is an example of challenges which were addressed at this event.

Promoting the ASEAN standards on coffee and enhancing the optimum output of ASEAN coffee value chain, ALSPEAC encouraged participants to have business match making and provided the governments with the exposure of feedback on policy support, for example on tax regulation.

Khin Lay Phyu added, “after this meeting, I will go back to Myanmar to share this experience with the other coffee farmers, who are the member of coffee cooperative.”

It is expected that after the ALSPEAC 2017, participants were able to reach a mutual understanding on how to start partnership, including to do direct trading along the ASEAN coffee value chain, and support one another as ASEAN community.

The video series of ALSPEAC activites can be accessed in ASEAN Foundation YouTube channel.