Addis Standard (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: U.S. Investors Invest in a Specialty Coffee Company in Ethiopia

Members of the East Coast Impact Angel Network (EIAN) agreed to invest into METAD, an Ethiopian specialty coffee company in October 2013. METAD will use the investment to establish a coffee processing facility on its coffee farm located near Yirgacheffe in the district of Hambela in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.

The U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) facilitated the investment through its Agricultural Growth Program - Agribusiness and Market Development project, which is the flagship of the Feed the Future initiative in Ethiopia. The project's private equity team conducted initial due diligence on the deal and presented METAD to investment advisory firm RENEW's global network of impact investors. The project team leveraged financing to maximize impact to the local smallholder farmers and position METAD for commercial production.

The new coffee processing facility will employ 30 new full-time employees and more than 160 part-time employees, 70 percent of whom will be women, and support more than 400 local farmers. With a vision for crop-to-cup coffee,

METAD aims to not only strengthen Ethiopia's coffee reputation in the international market, but also help local farmers improve the quality and value of their harvested crop. "We are grateful for the support from USAID and the EIAN, and we are eager to use this investment to continue building Ethiopia's reputation in the specialty coffee market," said METAD CEO Aman Adinew.

In June 2013, after traveling to the mountainous area of Hambela, deep in the heart of one of Ethiopia's most famous coffee regions, to evaluate the coffee washing and drying capacity in the area, the angel investors began discussions with METAD. Dr. Andrew Umhau, one of the EIAN members who visited the Yiracheffe region on the trip, commented, "We all experience coffee from the consumer end, so this investment in Ethiopian specialty coffee has natural appeal to me. I had the opportunity to experience the entire coffee supply chain first hand in Ethiopia-from coffee bush to macchiato. The METAD management team understands coffee in Ethiopia, so we have great confidence in this venture."

EIAN members returned to Ethiopia in November to celebrate the investment at METAD's coffee laboratory, the first privately owned laboratory in Africa to be certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

The Agriculture Growth Program (AGP) is a collaborative initiative of the Ethiopian government, the World Bank and multiple international donors, including USAID. AGP promotes economic growth in four high-rainfall regions

of Ethiopia with strong agricultural potential. USAID's Agribusiness and Market Development project aims to sustainably reduce poverty and hunger by improving the productivity and competitiveness of value chains that offer job and income opportunities for rural households.

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