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Trading agreement for Ethiopian coffee

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

A trading agreement is launched on September 5th in the UK, of which some of the world’s poorest farmers will benefit. Only officially licensed distributors will be able to sell certain coffees in the UK from then on. Equal Exchange will be the first company to become a licensed distributor when their Fairtrade and Organic Yirgacheffe Ground Coffee is included under the Ethiopian Coffee and Trademarking Initiative. The Trademarking Initiative, is a collaboration between Ethiopia’s government, coffee exporters and farmers’ organisations.


Ethiopia is known as the birthplace of coffee and 15 million Ethiopians depend on the coffee industry for their livelihood. Currently the majority of the farmers who grow the beans so highly prized in the West only receive a tiny fraction of the retail price. Many farmers have been forced to abandon growing some of the world’s finest coffee. The plight of these farmers has been highlighted recently in the feature film Black Gold, being shown across the UK.


The Ethiopian Trademarking Initiative aims at improving farmers’ incomes and will boost the value of the country’s coffee industry - Oxfam has estimated that trademarks would add £47m a year to the Ethiopian economy. The Initiative also hopes to provide longer-term security for farmers through the more direct trading relationship, allowing farmers to invest in production and improve coffee quality.


Equal Exchange’s Fairtrade and Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Roast and Ground coffee is available from Wholefoods Market, Planet Organic and independent health food stores across the UK. The beans come from the Oromia Farmers Co-operative, an organisation of over 22,000 small-scale coffee farmers across Ethiopia. Oromia is the country’s biggest Fair Trade coffee producer and only cultivates environmentally friendly, shade grown coffee.


Alongside premium coffees like Yirgacheffe, Equal Exchange’s range of 100% natural, Fairtrade and organic certified speciality products includes single garden teas, nuts and nut spreads,  Brazil nut oil, Rooibos tea, unpasteurised woodland honey, sugar and cocoa.




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