And the winners of Ethiopia’s 2022 FairTrade Quality Contest are: Small-hold coffee farmers
Ethiopia’s Kata Muduga Cooperative Union’s unwashed silky, floral heirloom arabica scooped up first place in this year’s Ethiopia Kombe la Dhahabu Fairtrade Coffee Quality Contest, while its washed, elegant, dry, dark chocolate heirloom arabica took second place.
Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union won 3rd place with its unwashed perfumed and supersweet Yirgacheffe arabica, and 4th place with its washed, creamy, biscoti-almond Yirgacheffe arabica.
“Today we are too happy for the future, and grateful to sell our coffee by the Fairtrade certificate,” beamed winner Ephrem Kebede, export manager for Kata Muduga.
The competition brought together all the country’s seven Fairtrade certified coffee producer organisations, presenting a total of 20 samples representative of specialty lots.
Kebede and his champion colleagues, together with samples of the four winning coffees, went on to the Specialty Coffee Association’s Expo event in Boston on April 8-10 for a tasting at the Fairtrade stand.
More than just a drink
“Coffee is the life of more than 25 million people in Ethiopia. More than 90% of the cooperatives in our region are involved in coffee, so their lives depend on this coffee. If they produce good quality coffee they gain more profit,” said Kebede.
According to Fairtrade, over 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihoods, yet many small-hold farmers are unable to earn a reliable living from the crop.
And it is product that has to fight for a position in a highly competitive global market.
Knowing this, ITC’s Alliances for Action programme has partnered with Fairtrade Africa and CLAC (the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers that co-owns the Fairtrade International system) to encourage high-quality economically sustainable coffee production and processing in Ethiopia.
Improving competitiveness of the Ethiopian coffee sector and adding value at origin is key for the Alliances for Action initiative, engaged through the NTFV project to meet these objectives.
Small producer cooperatives and associations, like the winners of this year’s contest, help farmers negotiate better terms of trade and reach wider markets.
Strategic partnerships increase sales
ITC’s partnership with CLAC has improved the livelihood of small hold farmers and aims to ensure their sustainability in terms of production and market.
Last year, the promotion of winning coffees in Ethiopia resulted in new coffee sales for winning lots totalling 94,000 metric tonnes. The sales were worth USD 620,253.51 and directly benefited 1,841 smallholder farmers.
“We use this event to promote of high-quality coffee and to create critical market linkages,” said Getahun Gebrekidan, Regional Pro-gramme Manager: Coffee and Tea for Fairtrade Africa.
Promotions of Ethiopia’s winning cups will continue for Fairtrade buyers in the US, Europe, Japan and Korea.
Additional coffee quality contests will be held this year in Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
CTA: Read about our Alliances for Action: (link: https://intracen.org/our-work/projects/alliances-for-action)
The Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF) (July 2021 – June 2025) is based on a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and the International Trade Centre. The programme supports MSMEs in the digital technologies and agribusiness sectors. Its ambition is two-fold: to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable transformation of food systems, partially through digital solutions, and drive the internationalisation of tech start-ups and export of IT&BPO companies in selected Sub-Saharan African countries.