Nguyen Duc Tuan Vinh
HINRICH SCHOLARSHIPRMIT University
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Master of Global Trade, Class of 2023
Tin Nghia Coffee Corp
“Becoming a Hinrich Global Trade scholar will empower me to work toward a more sustainable approach to trade within the coffee sector both in Vietnam and internationally.”
He is currently the CEO of Tin Nghia Coffee, one of the three largest coffee exporters in Vietnam and a member of the Tin Nghia Corporation. He manages a team of 200 employees which contribute up to 50% of Tin Nghia’s annual revenue of US$500 million.
He began his career in coffee working as the Senior Trader for Asia at Sucafina Vietnam, and later spent nine years as the General Director of Groupe Sucres & Denrées Vietnam. In 2017, he became the Country General Manager for COFCO International, a leading global soft commodities trading house, where Vinh successfully advanced the company’s procurement, production, logistics, finance and offshore trading functions.
Vinh completed his Bachelor of Arts in English Linguistics and Literature at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2001. He earned an Executive Master of Business Administration from RMIT University Vietnam in 2012.
Coffee is a curious commodity. As one of the most traded commodities in the world (second only to crude oil), coffee is only grown in developing countries close to the equator, mostly by smallholders, while most output is consumed in developed countries. Coffee not only connects the two hemispheres but also the poor farmers living at subsistence levels at one end of the supply chain to affluent consumers at the other end.
Working in multinational coffee companies gave me the opportunities to travel to producing countries in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia. What I came to witness was: the coffee crisis in the 2000s when I started working in the business, never really ended. While the two most efficient producers, Brazil and Vietnam, have performed better economically lately (which is why people are talking about a duopoly in coffee production), farmers in most other coffee-producing countries are doing as badly as ever.
For me, the solution to this seemingly eternal coffee crisis involves a more sustainable global trade system – trade that is driven and measured not just by profits, but also by sustainability goals such as poverty reduction and preservation of natural resources.
I was excited to learn about RMIT’s Master of Global Trade program and the Hinrich Foundation scholarship as this is one of the few programs that teaches the practicalities of global trade within a sustainability context. By joining the October 2021 Intake, I trust I will acquire the knowledge needed to incorporate sustainable commerce and fair-trade practices into the coffee business.
Finally, pursuing the MGT fits in with my personal goal of lifelong learning.