DakLak Province: Building the Vietnamese chocolate brand
Dak Lak exploits advantages from cocoa treesIn about the middle of the twentieth century, the French planted cocoa seeds in Vietnam, including Dak Lak province. However, the situation of the war caused difficult cultivation.
The products of Nam Truong Son Cocoa Company.
In the 2000s, cocoa trees have began to grow in order to find an alternative cultivar for coffee land that cannot be replanted. In 2015, the International Cocoa Council (ICCO) ranked Vietnamese cocoa as “the great cocoa”. Although processing raw cocoa beans into finished products makes them 400% more valuable than selling raw cocoa beans, the period of harvest takes 4 to 5 with the complicated processing, and handling process of finished products makes farmers shift to high economic efficiency cultivars such as coffee, cashew, etc.
The products of Nam Truong Son Cocoa Company.
In 2007, Mr. Truong Ngoc Quang, who is the director of Nam Truong Son cocoa company in Dak Lak province, was conscious of the difficulties of the cocoa growers, so he began to carry out research on recipes for the production of items from cocoa trees. Mr. Quang anticipates that this land will be the focal point for raw material purchases, assisting farmers in stabilizing their incomes and producing additional valuable products to meet the needs of Vietnamese consumers.
Mr. Truong Ngoc Quang – Director of Nam Truong Son Cocoa Company
At that time, the production of cocoa processing in Vietnam was still up to the minute. Therefore, Mr. Quang had to read foreign documents, do research, and fund basic machines for trial processing at home to master the techniques and cultivation method. For the unstoppable attempt, only after 1 year, cocoa powder and cocoa butter were launched, which got him motivated in the process of bringing the products of the high land of Tay Nguyen to the market inbound and all over the world.
Mr. Quang said, “When it comes to chocolates, people usually think about the brands of Western chocolates. The production of chocolate processing in Vietnam is relatively new, so the product advertising is still limited. This is the difficulty, as well as the opportunity, for the company to maintain a more consistent performance.”
Building OCOP products in Dak Lak from cocoaFrom 2010 to 2017, Mr. Quang continuously learned about techniques and technology from countries that have successfully developed chocolate processing areas, such as the United Kingdom, Belgium, and others. Simultaneously, the company promoted investing in modern machines to enhance its progress and expand the production scale. For that reason, the cocoa purchasing price of the company was always higher than the market price, at 10.000 VND per kilo, which made farmers at ease for cultivation. Besides, it has been understandable that customers are often into satisfying product packaging, so that the packaging design, which is made to be impressive, is also especially mentioned.
Foreign tourists is visiting the cocoa garden of the company
Finally, two types of products, which are milk chocolates (making up 60% of cocoa) and black chocolates (making up 70% of cocoa), have been branded as Nam Truong Son brands, launching in the Vietnamese market and have been highly evaluated by consumers because of their strong European features. Nowadays, these products are present in many provinces such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dalat, Nha Trang, Da Nang, and others, which are developing in the travel area. In addition, in 2018, several items such as cocoa powder, chocolates, etc., have approached the Japanese and Canadian markets. Although the quantity was insignificant, it was a worthy signal for the chocolate processing industry for Dak Lak province in particular and for Vietnam in general.
The customers are visiting the stand of Nam Truong Son Cocoa Company
In 2020, Nam Truong Son original cocoa powder qualified for an OCOP of 4 stars at the provincial level. Next, in 2021, milk chocolates and black chocolates have been recognized as the OCOP of 4 stars by the People’s Committee of Dak Lak province. Mr. Quang anticipates that the authorities of Dak Lak province will keep on promoting the construction of the showroom, creating a channel for OCOP product exchange and stimulating the activities of commerce promotion in numerous provinces to advertise the brand widely all over the country.
Nam Truong Son original cocoa powder has qualified for OCOP of 4 stars at the provincial level in 2020.
At present, the company has been cooperating with partners from Gia Lai, Dak Nong, and Lam Dong provinces, and Hanoi capital, etc., to expand the land of cocoa, formulate the chain of values, and finally proceed to build a mid-range factory in the area. As a consequence, Mr. Quang hopes he can expand from 1200 hectares to 4000 hectares of land for cocoa cultivation which promotes the price of purchasing up to 80,000 VND per kilo supporting the incomes for farmers. Aside from that, Nam Truong Son company has planned to open training classes for cocoa cultivation techniques, which would lead to an increase in the production scale of the high-value products.
Milk chocolates and black chocolates have been recognized as the OCOP of 4 stars by the People’s Committee of DakLak province in 2021.
A value-setting certificate of the greatest Vietnamese products for the product “Nam Truong Son Cocoa Powder”
Mr. Quang said that the development of products that are linked to local tourism is one of the projects that the company consistently cherishes. Therefore, he has been cooperating with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Tourism, and Department of Industry and Trade to utilize 2 to 3 hectares of land in the cocoa garden of the company for building the architecture, which helps the tourists learn and experience chocolate processing. In the future, other than coffee, it is anticipated that tourists who visit Dak Lak will remember the image of cocoa trees and chocolate products as a symbol of the local.
An Nhi (Translated by Quoc Huy)