ITC at Fairtrade coffee Golden Cup Ethiopia

25 April 2023
ITC News

International Trade Centre (ITC) Alliances for Action partners competed at the Fairtrade Golden cup coffee championship in Ethiopia. 

Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union take gold at Fairtrade Golden Cup competition in Ethiopia 

April 2023 marks the third consecutive year for the Fairtrade Golden Cup in Ethiopia, a.k.a. 'Kombe la Dhahabu' ('Golden Cup' in Swahili). Turnout was inspiring, with nine Fairtrade-certified cooperatives participating with no less than 24 of their best coffee samples. 

Cecilia Sanada was the Head Judge of the competition and had a hard time deliberating. ‘The quality this year was outstanding,’ she said. ‘Fermentation processes stood out, bringing consistency of a good preparation and more elegance to the coffee. It was difficult to choose because all coffees entered were of amazing quality.’ 

The winner of the Golden Cup was the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU), one of the beneficiaries of ITC’s Alliances for Action initiative under the NTFV Ethiopia project. It comes as no surprise that a coffee from one of Ethiopia’s most prized coffee regions should sweep the stakes. What makes the win doubly impressive however is that it is Fairtrade-certified. 

Proving that coffee with a social impact can be matched by incredible cup quality is the goal of this annual competition. It promotes Fairtrade coffees nationally and internationally. As well as encouraging value addition and fair income distribution by producing and commercializing quality coffees, the producers guarantee sustainable production processes. 

This is also the mandate that brings a strategic three-way partnership together with CLAC-Fairtrade, Fairtrade Africa and ITC’s Alliances for Action collaborating each year to make this event happen. 

Erkehun Georgis was at the ceremony to accept the award on behalf of the YCFCU coffee farmer community. He was excited about this victory for more than just the prestige. 

‘This means so much for our farmers,’ he said. ‘But it’s also strategic for us because it will open up new market destinations, attract new customers and the demand for the winning coffee will dramatically increase. Last year for example, our winning coffee achieved a better price thanks to its status.’ 

Last year’s winner Kata Mutuga Multipurpose Farmer's Cooperative Union came in second place, and Homa Multipurpose Farmers Cooperative came in third. The three winning coffees are currently being showcased in the US city of Portland, at the world’s most important annual specialty coffee event, Specialty Coffee Expo

Cultivating market linkages and improving business operations are important objectives of the event. In the coming months, Fairtrade Africa will showcase the winning coffees at high-level international coffee events and shows to connect the cooperatives to the market and expand their operations. 


About the project 

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 through its EcomConnect programme and agribusiness sectors through its Alliances for Action programme. Its ambition is two-fold: to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable transformation of food systems, partially through digital solutions, and drive the internationalization of tech start-ups and export of IT&BPO companies in selected Sub-Saharan African countries.