Hosting conferences provides growing opportunities for Ethiopian coffee exporters

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Addis Ababa, 20 October 2014 (WIC) – Ethiopia government’s bid to host the 4th World Coffee Conference in 2016 has met the full support and acceptance of the ‘International Coffee Organization’ ICO.

This was noted at a press conference recently by Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association (ECEA) to give a briefing on the 3rd International Ethiopian Coffee Conference, which will be held on November 6-7, 2014 at Hilton Addis.

In addition to this, Ethiopia is chosen as a ‘Portrait country’ – for Arabica Coffee producers, for the 27th annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) event, to be held on April of next year at Seattle, Washington.

This increasing international spotlight that’s bestowing upon Ethiopia’s coffee sector is a result of the two previous conferences staged by Ethiopian Coffee Exporters’ Association, according to the Association’s press release.

Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association (ECEA) was established with an objective to encourage the production of quality coffee by promoting coffee export and by collectively resolving problems its 125 member faces.

To this end, the Association believes that the annual conferences have wide-ranging benefits running the gamut from serving as a platform for coffee exporters and buyers, to having a positive impact on the country’s tourism.

The previous conferences have helped promote Ethiopia’s coffee to a wider audience; building and maintaining, for the large part, the legacy and place of the country in the coffee world, according to the President of the Association’s Directors, Hussein Agran .

Aiming at maintaining this successful steam, the 3rd International Ethiopian Coffee Conference will be held under the theme “Towards Quality and Tracebility”.

As a country with an immense potential the lights of which can make it stand next to Brazil and Colombia, Hussien believes that the conference will create the opportunity for the country to utilize its full potential. “Generally, the conference will help the country get all the benefits that it should out of the sector”, says Hussien.

Going by the Press release of the Association; discussions, panel discussion and research papers that focuses on Quality and traceability of coffee will be held during the two-day conference.

The conference will look for ways to turn Ethiopia’s legacy as home to the finest coffee, which was demonstrated recently with its win at the world’s largest blind-tasted food awards, to a high-quality product that can rack-up high premium price return to the country.

“Discussions on how the country can improve its quality and various papers on the relation that exists between quality and price and its benefits will be presented at the conference,” said Alemseged Assefa, Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association General Manager.

Tapping into the growing demand for traceability in agricultural products, especially in the foreign market and consumers, this edition of conference aims at establishing traceability for its coffee products and expand the market reach of the sector.

“There’s a project initiated to make Ethiopian coffee traceable, that would be undertaken by Ethiopian Commodity Exchange/ECX starting from next year”, says Alemseged, “not many countries have moved into endeavor.”

This will give Ethiopia a head-start in this aspect, whose benefits ranges from benefiting the farmers to increasing consumer confidence in Ethiopian Coffee. The General Manager also added that countries like Kenya and Uganda have already requested to take part in the conference to gain experience from Ethiopia.

It’s expected that major players in the sector, various researchers, Ethiopian coffee buyers association and international coffee organizations will take part in the conference.

Finally, the association has called on coffee exporters, both member and non-members, and those interested in the coffee industry to register and take part in the conference. (EH)


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