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  • Half-year coffee export revenues at USD 571mln

The Authority in charge of regulating the Ethiopian coffee industry has established a committee to oversee the incorporation and adherence to a new anti-deforestation regulation applying to coffee imported into the European Union (EU).

Scheduled to come into effect this year, the EU Deforestation-free regulation obliges business and regulators involved in the markets to ensure that all coffee imported into the EU is not linked to deforestation.

Europe is a key market for Ethiopian coffee exports, and the new legislation has sent shockwaves among industry players who fear it could result in falling revenues placing the entire industry at risk.

Officials at the Ethiopia Coffee and Tea Authority (ECTA) are attempting to act quickly to ease fears through the formation of a committee composed of Authority personnel, associations engaged in the coffee industry, embassies, non-governmental organizations, farmers, and other businesses involved in the coffee trade.

During a meeting convened at the Skylight Hotel on February 1, 2024, heads of the Authority initiated the establishment of the committee in the presence of producer and exporter associations, unions, and other stakeholders.

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The committee will work to make sure that Ethiopia does not lose out on revenues due to the EU’s new rules, said Shafi Oumer, deputy director of the Authority.

The EU has put in place an execution timetable in which the committee will play a significant role in ensuring that Ethiopian coffee is free from ties to deforestation.

“Abiding by the regulation requires a lot of work,” Shafi told The Reporter. “We have to make a collective effort as coffee has a crucial role in the Ethiopian economy.”

The Authority is preparing to submit documents required by the EU, but Ethiopia, along with other coffee exporting countries, has requested the EU for an extension on the implementation of the anti-deforestation regulation, according to Adugna Debela (PhD), director-general of the Authority.

The export of 117,000 tons of coffee brought in revenues of USD 571 million over the first half of this financial year. The performance signals the Authority’s ambitions of earning a record USD 1.7 billion from coffee exports this year are unlikely to be met.

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