Coffee guide, small producers shine at World of Coffee

5 July 2022
ITC News

ITC's Alliances for Action went to World of Coffee 2022 in Milan to promote its popular Coffee Guide, 4th Edition, and to build commercial spaces for its coffee producer network. 

The World of Coffee in Milan brought together the best of the best in the industry over three days in June, including ITC’s Alliances for Action.

Their booth showcased both their flagship Coffee Guide, the industry’s go-to reference book, and the top-flight coffee produced from across its projects, including from the Netherlands Trust Fund V project.

Returning for the first time since the pandemic, the World of Coffee set a record for attendance, with more than 11,000 people from 140 countries, converging on Milan from June 23-25.

Among them was Erkehun Woldegiorgis Hirbaye, general manager of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union in Ethiopia. Coffee from Yirgacheffe and Kata Muduga cooperatives won first and second place in Fairtrade’s Golden Cup competition.

Alliances for Action run the Golden Cup competition around the world, in partnership with CLAC, the alliance of Fairtrade producers in Latin America and the Caribbean. The competition is a chance to highlight the unique tastes of small batch coffees produced by cooperatives who might otherwise struggle to find a market for their beans.

The winning coffees from the two Ethiopian cooperatives were brewed by Cecilia Sanada, a globally recognised coffee expert known as a Q grader. She’s the head judge for the Golden Cup competition, and she used her expertise to make perfect cups at the booth’s brew bar.

“This is a very nice experience for me,” said Hirbaye. “In this event, we came with two main objectives. The first one is we had set prior arrangements with existing buyers so that we can discuss the season that we are about to finish.”

“The second one is the most interesting part. That’s looking for potential buyers,” he said.

Linking small, local producers to international buyers is one of the key goals of NTFV, said project manager Giulia Macola.

“We work on the competitiveness of agribusiness value chain and as well as digitalisation. The programme is funded by the Netherlands and of course in Ethiopia we work on coffee,” she said.

“We work with different cooperatives from Fairtrade Africa, but also important partners from the private sector, international buyers, such as List+Beisler who are co-investing with us in the improvement of the chain from seed to cup.”

List+Beisler is a green coffee importer based in Germany, which sources beans from around the world. The opportunity to meet more international buyers was the highlight of the event, said Hirbaye.

 “We met so many different potential buyers and we presented them on our coffee samples,” he said. “So I hope that good things will come out of this.”

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.