This fascinating East African country looks back on a long tradition in coffee cultivation. The land where in the 15th century the first Arabica plant was discovered and consumed is now Africa's largest coffee producer. For a long time, Ethiopia suffered from civil war and famine, the change to political stability only occurred in the 90s. Since then, the economy has benefited from significant governmental investments and generated high growth. Ethiopia's agriculture is seen as the cornerstone of the economy and accounts for not only 40% of GDP but also 85% of exports. In the crop year 2017/18, the country produced a total of 7.65 million 60kg bags of green coffee and contributed 4.8% to the global coffee production.
Coffee also plays an important role in people's everyday lives. This is also reflected in local consumption, which accounts for almost 50% of the harvest and is the highest in the world after Brazil and Indonesia.
The introduction of the Ethiopian Coffee Exchange (ECX) in 2008 initially met with disagreement as it was intended to protect buyers and sellers, but at the same time traceability wasn't assured anymore. Meanwhile, the problem of traceability has been solved. Ethiopia’s coffee producers traditionally belong to cooperatives who manage the post-harvest production activities - coffee therefore can mostly be traced back to at least the washing station.
Today, all producers and exporters need to register and log on to individual terminals at the ECX. Only then can they buy and sell their coffee. The process is transparent so that information about the producer, the region and the quality can be reviewed. It gives producers the opportunity to offer their coffees to a large number of potential buyers and exporters receive an overview of the currently offered qualities and prices.