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University platform to help sell Vietnamese coffee in Taiwan

2018/07/31 18:58:51

Vietnamese students ready to kickstart coffee project. Photo courtesy of Vietnamese Students Association of NTUST

Taipei, July 31 (CNA) A local university-industry cooperation platform has formed a team of students from Southeast Asian countries to help them promote coffee produced by farmers in their home countries, a professor said Tuesday.

Huang Bing-xi (黃丙喜), a professor of management and chairman of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology's (NTUST) "Koo- idea Campus" platform, said Vietnam, Indonesia and Laos will be the targets of the cooperation project, starting in September when the new school semester begins.

The "Koo-idea Campus," which seeks to benefit farmers, students and consumers, will use integrated curricula of micro-entrepreneurship, community marketing, factory implementation and store internships to help sell small-farm coffee produced in the target countries, Huang said.

The "Koo-idea Campus" is a cross-border marketing cooperation platform jointly established by 105 universities in Taiwan with the aim of commercializing the creative ideas of university students.

Upon the platform, a "Partner Universities Goodwill Farm" project was launched last year to market coffee, tea and other local agricultural products.

The Goodwill Farm's first select Ethiopian coffee won the 2018 African Harvest Cup Competition, which encouraged teachers and students to work with the government's drive to push its New Southbound Policy, which includes Vietnam, Indonesia and Laos.

NTUST, National Taiwan University, Tunghai University and Tamkang University are working on the latest proposed project, Huang noted.

He noted that most of the international students studying in Taiwan come from New Southbound target countries. They have set up a schoolmates association, using the Internet and social media to communicate with one another.

These students have considerable management, information, business and agronomy knowledge and are ready to kickstart the project in September.

The business model of the Goodwill Farm is to use the university technology and campus brand to help small farmers differentiate and add value to their products.

Partner school alumni will enjoy a 15-percent discount on promoted products, and 15 percent of the sales proceeds will go toward a university fund that will reward students for their creative entrepreneurship, Huang said.

(By S.C. Chang)
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