Ethiopia is the birthplace of Coffea arabica, the ‘mountain coffee’, and is some of the best tasting commercially produced type of coffee in the world. Now, people associated with the coffee trade in the African nation will be celebrating the start of this year in style after humanitarian groups combined in order to bring funding for a new facility near the central-southern town of Yirgachefe (also transliterated as Irgachefe), securing around two-hundred jobs in the process.
Ethiopian coffee group METAD will run the site after securing the investment from a project initiated by the East Coast Impact Angel Network (EIAN), and facilitated by the U.S Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Agricultural Growth Program which aims to secure and develop industrial growth in hard-to-reach areas where food and medical supplies are limited.
Out of the jobs created, seventy percent will go to women whilst the benefits of this project will spread to around four-hundred local coffee farmers who will see an increase in value and quality of their produce.
METAD CEO Aman Adinew stated that they ‘are eager to use this investment to continue building Ethiopia’s reputation in the speciality coffee market.’
The talks began in earnest back in June last year when RENEW, a group that brings together investors in burgeoning economies, brought together METAD and EIAN members four a tour of the prosperous coffee growing region of Hambela in order to evaluate existing and potential capacities.
RENEW is the group that initially brought together METAD and EIAN to tour the coffee growing mountainous lands of Habela back in June 2013. The group facilitates and invests on emerging economies and it was decided that a coffee drying and processing plant would be fantastic for the local community and coffee production in the country as a whole.
‘We all experience coffee from the consumer end, so this investment in Ethiopian speciality coffee has natural appeal to me,” said Dr. Andrew Umhau, a member of the EIAN financiers, ”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.’
Given that METAD’s Addis Ababa coffee laboratory was the first privately owned African centre to be certified by the Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA), the production of quality coffee in Ethiopia is evidently in safe hands.
The Ethiopian coffee industry looks set to go from strength to strength in 2014, which is good news for coffee loves, coffee workers and the country in general.