“The smoke is clear and the factory is clean. Most importantly, the material for fuel comes from agricultural and forestry by-products. These are cheap and readily available.
Tran Nam Cooperative
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We visited Mr. Dinh Quy’s tea factory on a sweltering day in June. Surrounded by the scent of freshly-brewed tea, Quy wiped the sweat off his brow as he put compressed sawdust into the biomass gasification stove. “Our cooperative used to use firewood to process tea. The burning fire and the high temperature, together with a lot of smoke and dust, made it debilitating for workers.”
Tran Nam Clean Tea Cooperative (Dai Tu district, Thai Nguyen province) has been operating since 2019 with an annual revenue of around three billion VND from processing and selling clean tea. The owner, Mr. Quy, is always nervous about rising fuel prices. “Firewood is cheap, but it needs to be refilled every 10 minutes. The clouds of smoke from burning firewood imbue the tea and deprive workers of breathable air. Gas and electricity are cleaner, but they cost more. Therefore, we can only afford them for certain stages, such as drying and flavouring tea.”