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2012 EAFCA Conference: Visiting Producer Groups in Ethiopia

Posted by Wynne McAuley on February 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Ethiopia: The Legendary Land of Coffee. Where it all began.

That is the theme for the 9th annual African Fine Coffee Conference and Exhibition, taking place this year in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia, on February 16th-18th. Sustainable Harvest® is hosting a booth at the event, and Boss, Laura and I are already in Ethiopia, taking some time to visit producers in the days leading up to the event.

We had a fun day yesterday at the Sidama Union offices here in Addis, learning more about some of Sidama’s cooperatives, visiting the warehouse, cupping with Dame, Sidama’s quality control expert and finally a visit to the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange. We cupped coffees from both today and it will be nice to see operations at the washing stations.

eafca2-1024x768After a stop off for some traditional Ethiopian food we arrived at the first Sidama washing station, Fero, at around 2pm and then went onto Burkaso 5k down the road. For the Sustainable Harvest Africa team it was really interesting to see such large washing stations – Fero alone can produce 10 containers, which is significantly more than any Kilicafe washing station alone! Burkaso also offered us coffee, roasted the traditional way over a fire and then crushed, which actually tasted really good and maintained the interesting flavors picked up in the cupping session from the previous day.

This morning we came back to Addis and prepared Sustainable Harvest’s® booth (which is looking awesome) and went to the opening cocktails. We’ve already connected with Rwandan washing station KZNoir, Solidaridad, Fair Trade USA, USAID/Compete, and other partners. We hope to see more people at our booth tomorrow when EAFCA 2012 officially kicks off and shall certainly have some tasty Kilicafe coffee brewing to entice people in!

This post was written by Carly Griggs, RITS Program Manager 

Topics: EAFCA, East Africa, Ethiopia, Events, Sidama