Works on branding, logo to boost export income
In an effort to boost export income from coffee, the Ethiopia Coffee and Tea Development Authority announced that it is working in collaboration with foreign Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) to replace old coffee varieties with improved ones.
The authority revealed that it is undertaking various reforms within the sector that would help the country generate more income from coffee export. As a result of these efforts, the country has generated USD 107 million in March 2021 from coffee export for the first time. That figure rose to USD 111 million in April.
Shafi Umer, Deputy General Director at the authority told The Reporter that by taking Ethiopian specialty coffee as a priority, the authority and other stakeholders are combining their efforts and working widely to generate a substantial amount of income from coffee exports.
Previously, the uncoordinated activities between concerned stakeholders in the sector harmed coffee exports, affecting the anticipated income from the sector, Shafi highlighted.
Subsequently, a vertical integration mechanism was applied as part of the reform, which played a key role in shortening the long coffee market chain. Currently, the authority and other stakeholders of the sector have created a system that connects coffee buyers with farmers and unions through a digital system, he said.
Currently, the authority is designing a 15 year strategic plan, which mainly focuses on branding Ethiopian coffee and promoting specialty coffee in the international market. “For years, Ethiopia only exported coffee without a symbol or brand; however, this time, the authority has introduced a logo and is working extensively to promote Ethiopian coffee,” he said.
According to a study published at Sage Journals, Ethiopia was exporting only 39 percent of its total coffee production. 53.5 percent and 34.13 percent of Ethiopian coffee exports were directed to European and Asian countries respectively, over the period 1998-2016. Ethiopia is the largest producer of coffee in Sub-Saharan Africa and is the fifth largest coffee producer in the world next to Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia. It contributes about 12.5 percent of the total world coffee production for the year 2018.