Intricacies of Cassia Cultivation in Vietnam

on December 19, 2023

Astrisia and Nicole, colleagues in the Quality and Purchasing departments at BCFoods Europe, recently seized a unique opportunity to explore the intricacies of cassia cultivation in Vietnam. Their visit encompassed the entire cassia production process, spanning from planting to pre-processing, as well as auditing suppliers.

Among the five countries cultivating cassia, Vietnam holds the third position, following Indonesia and China. The quality of Vietnamese cassia is often compared to that of Indonesian cassia and cinnamon from Sri Lanka. There are significant differences between the two in the thickness of bark, coumarin content, and taste.

The harvesting season for cassia in Vietnam runs from June to September, strategically timed to maximize sun exposure for drying the bark. Cassia trees undergo a three-year growth period in a nursery before being transplanted onto mountain slopes. While a minimum age of six years yields a productive tree, farmers have the discretion to decide whether to harvest it or let it mature further. The older the cassia trees, the higher the quality in terms of volatile oil content. Farmers benefit from this flexibility, as allowing trees to mature longer can result in better prices due to improved quality. During their visit, Astrisia and Nicole saw cassia trees exceeding 30 years old, but unfortunately the global decline in interest among younger generations in pursuing cassia farming raises questions about the industry’s future.

Vietnamese cassia faces annual challenges in supplying the EU market, particularly concerning fluctuating lead levels caused by natural occurrences in Yen Bai province’s soil, a primary Vietnamese cassia growing region. These challenges, coupled with quality expectations related to volatile oil, appearance, and roll percentage, underscore the importance of transparency in sourcing to ensure compliant materials. The team is delighted to be in Vietnam, actively fostering communication and strengthening BCFoods‘ cassia supply chain.

Shannon WesleyIntricacies of Cassia Cultivation in Vietnam

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