The cinnamon growing area in Vietnam is being strongly expanded to meet the market demand. However, it is necessary to have timely orientations for the sustainable development of cinnamon, avoiding the risk of hot development.

(Vietnamese Cinnamon has been introduced to more than 60 countries)

On the afternoon of December 10, the General Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development coordinated with the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) to hold a workshop “Sustainable development of Vietnamese cinnamon.”

The workshop was taken place directly and online with the participation of representatives of key cinnamon growing provinces, international funding agencies, NGOs, the European Spice Association, the American Spice Association, and many domestic and international enterprises in the field of cinnamon production, processing, and trade.

Vietnam is a cinnamon manufacturing and exporting area which ranks third by production in the world after Indonesia, China.

With an area of more than 150,000 hectares, growing cinnamon is currently a livelihood for hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority households in remote provinces and simultaneously contributes to the socio-economic development of many localities.

(Vietnam Cinnamon ranks 3rd by Cinnamon Production in the world)

According to a report by FAO, Vietnam’s total cinnamon production in 2019 reached 41,408 tons, accounting for 17% of global production. Demand for cinnamon is growing faster than global supply, currently estimated at 8-12%. The imbalance between supply and demand has caused the price of cinnamon to increase, especially from 2016 up to now. This situation may lead to the massive transformation of cinnamon development in Vietnam.

Mr. Bui Chinh Nghia, Deputy Director of the General Department of Forestry, said that there is an increase in international market demand for cinnamon. One of the main goals of forestry development in the upcoming time is the development of non-timber forest products including cinnamon.

The cinnamon growing area in Vietnam is expanding and developing to meet market demand. The area of cinnamon has not only grown in some localities such as Lao Cai and Yen Bai but also expanded to Phu Tho, Quang Ninh, Lang Son, and some North Central provinces. The growth of this plant has gone out of its natural distribution. “With the above development, cinnamon needs to have timely orientations to develop sustainably and avoid the risk of hot growth like some plants in the past time,” said Mr. Bui Chinh Nghia.

Mr. Huynh Tien Dung, Director of IDH in Vietnam shared, IDH has actively cooperated and coordinated with relevant units of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, localities, associations, domestic and international enterprises in promoting the sustainable development of Vietnam’s agricultural industries including tea, pepper, coffee, and seafood.

Recently, several associations and many domestic and international enterprises have approached and asked IDH to open a program to support cinnamon products.

After carefully assessing the world market demand, Vietnam’s potential, and challenges, IDH in Vietnam officially introduced cinnamon as a new support program for the 2021-2030 period.

Desire to change his life by cinnamon tree – an ethnic boy becomes a ‘billionaire’

Mr. Huynh Tien Dung hopes that the workshop will help IDH identify priority issues that need to be supported, contributing to the sustainable development of Vietnam’s cinnamon industry in the future.

Mr. To Manh Tien, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Lao Cai province, said that with the support of international organizations and businesses, so far Lao Cai has 42,000 hectares of cinnamon with 3,500 hectares is certified as organic cinnamon.

To enhance the value of cinnamon, the province is also making geographical indications for this product. The province is particularly interested in building a seedling production area, with 57 factories accounting for 19.5 hectares. The province also has many factories and production facilities, but the supply chain is not well organized yet.

Lao Cai cinnamon has been directly exported to 9 countries, however, the value is still low since the main products are raw cinnamon barks and essential oils. Lao Cai aims to develop the cinnamon industry by 2030 with an area of about 60,000 hectares, in which, about 30,000-35,000 hectares of cinnamon are certified as organic. The province has issued a policy to support the development of organic cinnamon certificates from 2021 to 2025. At the same time, the province will provide favorable conditions for land clearance for enterprises investing in the cinnamon products processing, establish cooperative groups to develop raw material areas, and preliminarily process as well as cinnamon products purchase.

(Sustainable development orientation for Vietnamese cinnamon products)

At the workshop, experts assessed that, besides production activities, there is also an increase in activities related to purchasing, processing, and exporting cinnamon between enterprises. This will make it difficult to meet the quality barriers, price risks, or output market and may cause negative impacts for cinnamon growers as well as businesses related to processing and exporting cinnamon in Vietnam.

Experts also said that to develop this industry, it is necessary to determine the product market and produce products according to the requirements of the market. Production needs to promote local knowledge and involve everyone, including women.

In particular, the establishment of cooperative groups and cooperatives is important to promote the connection between farmers and businesses. Along with that, appropriate policies will attract investors.