ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (IRIN) – Ethiopia is regarded as arabica coffee’s birthplace, but while the country’s high-quality coffee has made it to the gourmet shelves of major coffee houses around the world, many of its growers remain poor.
Ethiopian coffee cooperatives have gained critical access to international coffee markets including the fair trade movement, but questions remain about what constitutes a fair price for farmers picking the red cherry that coffee beans come from.
“Ethiopian coffees are still too moderately priced for what they are worth,” said coffee consultant Willem Boot, who has managed coffee development projects for national coffee organizations in Ethiopia, Panama and El Salvador. “Their specialty coffees are significantly better than others and are really undersold.”
After oil, coffee is the world’s second most valuable legal exported commodity, worth an estimated US$15.4 billion in 2010, according to the International Coffee Organization , a global intergovernmental body aimed at strengthening the coffee sector.
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Source: Gantdaily.com website.