The farmers in the Muong Do Bio-Tea Producing Group are mostly Muong ethnic women who hope to encourage others to use sustainable traditional farming practices to produce high-quality tea. The Muong ethnic group are the 4th largest ethnic group out of 54 diverse ethnic groups recognized in Vietnam with an estimated population of just over 1 million. The Muong have a very close relation to the Kinnh and also reside in the Northern provinces of Vietnam. The highest density of Muong is located in Hoa Binh province as well as some mountainous districts of Thoanh Hoa. Their culture is associated with the Hoa Binh culture which is more than a thousand years old.
The cooperative has around 3,000 ancient Tea trees which yield around 4 tons of fresh tea a year. Muong Do Bio-Tea, like all tea, is best when it is grown naturally at high altitudes. Thanks to the amazing hard work of the farmers, tea buds are carefully handpicked before sunrise, while the leaves are still covered by the mountain dew to retain optimum freshness, natural aromas and to fully preserve the strong tea flavors. Ancient trees in Muong Do grow wild in the rich fertile soil around 800 meters above sea level. These trees thrive in biodiverse, chemical free environments. The final product in the cup reflects the intimate relationships between people, environment and high standards of agricultural practices. This handmade village tea is produced by Muong ethnic woman in the hope of encouraging other villagers to grow their livelihoods from tea. This tea is not blended with other teas, so you are guaranteed the highest quality which distinctively reflects the region where it is grown. The tea can be infused several times in the cup due to the high-quality standard of the product. There are three types of tea: yellow, green, and black. In 2018, the price of tea leaf is 15.000VND/kg which is an increase of 3.000VND/kg compared to the previous year.
In the beginning of the cooperative, farmers did not know how to process tea from the tea plants. Forcing them to sell fresh tea leaves, resulting in a loss of potential revenue due to their lack of capacity. CDI initiated programs to support women groups in the area with funding and support from IrishAid in 2017. With this support, the cooperative was able to purchase tea processing machines. Enabling the members to create higher valued finished products, resulting in higher incomes for the cooperative members. To develop local capacity in marketing and market promotion, CDI organized several market access events to support the cooperative in Hanoi and in the Mekong region. They were able to present their story in an international workshop in Hanoi about women in entrepreneurship in the Asia Pacific. The group leader Mrs. Nu also participated in an exchange learning program to Laos to present their product and learn about tea processing and labeling. Son Tra products, as a result, are sold at Noi Bai international airport. Reaching international consumers who have shown great feedback for the different products.
Members of Muong Do Cooperative are now able to produce tea in conformance with VietFarm standards to attain high-quality products that meet the market demand. Vietfarm standards have benefited the cooperative immensely to gain global recognition for its products showing traditional agricultural practices can be environmentally and socially sustainable by restricting dangerous chemicals which are proven to be damaging to both the environment and the health of producers and consumers. As a result of Muong Do Bio Tea Producing Group amazing progress, they received a VietFarm Award in 2018. They have demonstrated their manufacturing process has complied with quality, fairness, responsibility, and sustainability criteria.
Name: Muong Do Bio-Tea Producing Group
Location: Muong Do Commune, Phu Yen district, Son La province
Product types: Green Shan Tea
Quantity of each product:1 ton
Contact details of Vietfarm: Address: Floor 16, Số 169 Nguyễn Ngọc Vũ
Office: Center for Development and Integration – CDIFloor 16, No. 169 Nguyen Ngoc Vu
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