Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Trà My cinnamon, a specialty of the central province of Quảng Nam, has received a timely boost in the form of plans to promote investment to preserve and develop cinnamon trees.
Cinnamon trees have long been associated with the spiritual life, economy and culture of Trà My ethnic groups. Since the 1980s and 1990s, cinnamon, especially Trà My cinnamon, has been a major money-maker.
Cinnamon products have been widely consumed in both domestic and export markets, creating a major source of income for people in cinnamon-growing areas. Cinnamon trees have become the most important tree in the economic development of Quảng Nam’s Trà My District.
Momentum in the cinnamon market
Acccording to Nam Trà My district People’s Committee vice chairman Trần Văn Mẫn, in order to preserve the tradition of growing cinnamon, the district has included the goal of developing cinnamon in its regular resolutions of tasks.
The People’s Council of Quảng Nam Province also issued a resolution on the conservation and development of Trà My cinnamon. In October 2011, the National Office of Intellectual Property of Việt Nam certified the unique quality of Trà My cinnamon.
In Nam Trà My District, 10 of 10 communes plant cinnamon; therefore, the output and cinnamon area has increased continuously over the years. Currently, cinnamon-growing area is 2,864ha and cinnamon output in 2017 reached about 350 tonnes, an increase of 200 tonnes compared to 2011.
In recent years, the cinnamon market received renewed attention in the province as demand across the country rises. The price of cinnamon products has gradually improved, so that cinnamon growers can live by planting this type of tree.
However, the current limitation is that the marketing of cinnamon in Nam Trà My District is poor. Almost no purchasing and processing units have signed contracts with farmers; hence, farmers only sell raw products with unstable prices, Mẫn told Việt Nam News.
Phan Quốc Cường, chairman of Trà Leng Commune People’s Committee in Nam Trà My District, said cinnamon growers want to have stable buyers and new technology to upgrade the value of their products. In addition, there should be a more stable mechanism of co-operation between enterprises and people to collect and buy products from cinnamon, such as branches, leaves and wood, Cường suggested.
Trà My cinnamon can become a global brand
Reggie Turner, an Australian businessman specialising in distributing and selling cinnamon products, said his customers in Australia and the United States are very satisfied with the quality of Trà My cinnamon compared with other cinnamon products such as Sri Lankan cinnamon.
Trà My cinnamon can and should be recognised throughout the world as high quality cinnamon, which can yield high quality health care products, he said.
However, that requires boosting cinnamon quality and investing in new cinnamon plants. But farmers cannot afford this cost, so a cooperative model is needed to bring together farmers, scientists, governments, producers, distributors and sellers.
According to Turner, the demand for medical and herbal health products is increasing worldwide and the world is relying on Việt Nam to meet this demand. He believes that Việt Nam can build a global brand for Trà My cinnamon. This brand will add value to cinnamon products grown and produced in Việt Nam, as well as bring more revenue to farmers.
Nguyễn Xuân Sơn, director of Hương Quế Production-Processing-Import Export Trading Company Limited, suggested that Trà My cinnamon growers must choose practices to grow, harvest and preserve cinnamon in accordance with international organic standards to meet the strict demands of the world market.
In the future, he recommends piloting a cinnamon cultivating area in Trà Leng commune according to organic standards. This model could be scaled up to raise the value of Trà My cinnamon brand.
At the same time, authorities should give advice and guidance for local people on exploitation and preservation after harvesting in order to preserve the quality of cinnamon to increase trade value as well as processing high value products, Sơn said. — VNS