Nguyen Duc Tuan Vinh
HINRICH SCHOLARSHIPRMIT University
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Master of Global Trade, Class of 2023
CURRENT EMPLOYMENTManaging Director
Tuan Loc Commodities, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
“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.”
Vinh is coffee trading expert with more than 20 years’ of experience. He currently is the Managing Director of Tuan Loc Commodities which is part of the Tuan Loc Group, a major Vietnamese conglomerate involved in industrial real estate, infrastructure development, and commodities trading.
He began working in coffee sector as a Senior Trader for Asia at Sucafina Vietnam, and later served as the General Director of Groupe Sucres & Denrées Vietnam. He then became the Country General Manager for COFCO International, a leading global soft commodity trading house, where he successfully advanced the company’s procurement, production, logistics, finance and offshore trading functions.
Vinh holds a bachelor’s degree in English Linguistics and Literature from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities and an Executive Master of Business Administration from RMIT University Vietnam. In 2022, he earned a Graduate Diploma of Global Trade at RMIT University through the Hinrich Global Trade Leader Scholarship Program.
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.