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Ethiopia hosts international coffee confab

The 4th World Coffee Conference will take place in Addis Ababa on 6-11 March 2016. The event, organised by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade in collaboration with the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), will bring together more than 1,200 participants drawn from the member countries of the global body.

The conference will also host the 116th annual conference of the international coffee organisation.

Asefa Mulugeta, a director at Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade, told a press conference in October that Ethiopia had been chosen by the ICO as the host country after intense competition with countries. “Ethiopia has a good reputation in the international coffee market. In addition, our county is the birthplace of coffee. We have a track record in hosting international conferences peacefully. The facilities to host the conference are internationally rated,” said Mulugeta.

He added that the conference was aimed at creating international consensus among all stakeholders engaged in the coffee industry. It is also a big inspiration for Ethiopian coffee producers and exporters. The conference will create an opportunity to promote the country’s image and create international market links, he said.

Coffee is Ethiopia’s leading export commodity and the country is the biggest producer and exporter in Africa.

The ICO is the main intergovernmental organisation for coffee, bringing together exporting and importing countries to tackle the challenges facing the world coffee sector through international co-operation. The body’s member countries represent 95 per cent of world coffee production and 83 per cent of global consumption. 

The ICO held its previous three international conferences in London (2001), Salvador, Brazil (2005) and Guatemala City, Guatemala (2010). 

Sola Jolaoso

Photo: Workers drying white coffee beans in the sun in a Fair Trade coffee farm, Jimma, Ethiopia. The African country is the birthplace of coffee and is reputed as the producer of the best quality beans in the world (© Eric Lafforgue)

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