EXPLOITING the opportunity from the Chinese emerging market for Ethiopian coffee is one of the areas on which the East African country is focusing, said Tatek Girma, Director of Market Development and Promotion at the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority.
Though the Chinese market has the potential, the export to the country of Ethiopian coffee is very low, when it is compared to its export of the commodity to other countries and regions.
Therefore, in addition to the traditional markets, mainly Europe, the U.S. and some Middle East countries, among others, Ethiopia is now focusing on the Chinese emerging market for the export of its organic coffee, Tatek told Xinhua.
China imported around 4,000 tons of Ethiopian coffee last year, but its import of Ethiopian coffee shows an annual growth of around 16 percent, according to the Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association.
Reiterating that the country’s exporters previously focusing on the traditional market as far as coffee export is concerned, the Director of Market Development and Promotion at the Authority underlined the need to take the opportunity created by the ever increasing coffee consumption by the Chinese.
‘We have to come to the emerging market. We have to do a lot, to have a big share in the emerging market. So, we are doing; we have different cooperation with the Chinese government, and also we have also partnered with China Commodity Exchange, so we are doing our best to do, to maximise our export to China,’ Tatek said, ‘So, one of the main areas that we are going to do, our export focus is China.’
According to the Director, the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority encourages and provides support to exporters to promote and boost export of Ethiopian coffee to China and other overseas markets, by facilitating platforms such as participation in expos and their side events for business to business (B2B) and government to business (G2B) meetings or dialogues that primarily aim at enhancing export performances of the country in the sector.
He further reiterated that events like the China International Import Expo in Shanghai serve as a good platform for creating networking and facilitating dialogues on the business of export issues.
Stating that Ethiopia and China are enjoying good relation and also that China is an emerging market for coffee, Gizat Worku, General Manager of Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association, said Ethiopian exporters are working hard to expand the Chinese market for Ethiopian coffee.
The Association has been encouraging Ethiopian exporters to tap the potential of the Chinese market, the General Manager said, expressing his hope that China would be the largest importer of Ethiopian coffee in less than 10 years.
‘Ethiopia and China have a good relation; so, when we talk about coffee, we are always inculcating this relation how it has to be revealed in terms of business,’ Gizat said.
‘But, as China is an emerging market for coffee, and an important business destination for Ethiopian coffee, we are working on it. We are going to China and promoting Ethiopian coffee,’ he said. ‘We have to do it because it is an emerging market. Coffee in the coming 10 years, probably China might be the biggest buyer; so, we are working on that.’
‘We have different organic coffee, different varieties, more than 6000 varieties; when you talk about Ethiopian coffee, it is related to speciality coffee; it is all organic; it is traceable; it is sustainable; it is related to green growth, because all Ethiopian coffee grows in a shade, under a tree; so, in order to get a price we have to always promote Ethiopian coffee, especially in such emerging market.’
Reiterating optimism of Chinese booming market for Ethiopian coffee, Asnake Kasa, Quality and Marketing Director at Kerchanshe Coffee, the largest producer and exporter of coffee in Ethiopia, noted the opportunity being created by Chinese emerging market for Ethiopian coffee is huge.
‘Nowadays in China, there is a big opportunity for Ethiopian coffee. For the last three years we are exporting to the Chinese, relatively when we compare the European countries, it is very low. But, there is a huge potential of Chinese market,’ he said.
‘We are happy to send our coffee to the Chinese, and definitely it will get higher and higher in a year or two years. So, there will be a booming market there,’ Asnake added.