The first International Conference on Ethiopian Coffee was held in Addis Ababa last week (November 8th-9th), under the theme of "Strengthening the Legacy of Our Coffee".
The aim was to promote Ethiopian coffee on the international market and facilitate the exchange of experience among stakeholders and enhance the transfer of information, to encourage growers, sellers, buyers, exporters with a focus on market links and on quality production. A significant number of international buyers, coffee roasting companies, and representatives of other relevant bodies attended, coming from North America, Europe, Japan and the Middle East.
The conference was opened by Prime Minister Hailemariam who noted that more than 15 million Ethiopians were associated, directly or indirectly, with the coffee sector. Ethiopia, he said, had considerable advantages in trading coffee, allowing the nation to increase the volume of trade, its share of the international market and the income for exports.
Ethiopia, with its extensive wild coffee forests, has more varieties than other countries and the conference provided an important venue for buyers and sellers to create awareness of the potential and of the quality available with a number of useful presentations and discussions. Participants and growers described the conference as a success and thought it would play a significant role in boosting exports.