Ethiopian coffee exporter eyes Chinese market

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ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) – Israel Degefa, CEO of Kerchanse Trading Private Limited Company, Ethiopia’s largest coffee producer and exporter, has set his sights on the huge Chinese market.

“From year to year, the volume, quality and education of coffee in Asia changes dramatically, especially in China, where our main market is located,” Degefa told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Kerchanse produces and exports diverse types of coffee by operating 63 washing stations, 56,000 planters and 1,500 hectares of land dedicated to the research and development of coffee varieties.

“When we started exporting to China 3 or 4 years ago, it was a tea market, not a coffee market, but now that is changing. The cultural change offers many opportunities for coffee producing countries like us, ”Degefa said.

Predicting that China will become one of the top five Ethiopian coffee importing countries over the next five years, Degefa strives to introduce his company’s coffee products to as many Chinese customers as possible, including by attending the next China International Import Expo (CIIE).

According to the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority, China was among the top 10 buyers of Ethiopian coffee in July and August.

The fourth China International Import Expo is scheduled for November 5-10 in Shanghai. The event provides a platform for companies around the world to exhibit their products, promote their brands and find more business partners in the world’s second-largest economy.

“We have our agent in China. He will attend the exhibition and show Ethiopian coffee on our behalf there,” Degefa said.

“These types of platforms are very useful. They will create good relationships between buyers and roasters,” he said, adding that the CIIE would also help the Chinese community to understand the difference between Ethiopian coffee and other types. of coffee.

In addition to the huge amount of personal connections his company expects to form at CIIE 2021, Degefa stressed that his company also expects to showcase the organic and high-quality coffee product exported by Kerchanse.

Yohannes Dinegdie, head of processing and warehousing at Kerchanse, said the Chinese market will be key to helping the company meet the target of 55,000 tonnes of coffee exports in Ethiopia’s fiscal year 2021/2022 from July 8.

“China is a big country, Kerchanse’s goal is to meet the needs of its customers according to the order and customers’ preferences,” Dinegdie told Xinhua.

Kerchanse is strengthening its quality control department to ensure that coffee exports to China meet the taste preferences of Chinese customers.

“Most of the time, the preference of Chinese customers depends on the food they eat, as they relate it to the food they eat,” Bacha Lencha, senior coffee quality controller at Kerchanse, told Xinhua.

“For example, they need anaerobic coffee, which means coffee with a fruity taste, so the Chinese market always prefers to consume coffee with a fruity character,” he said.

Lencha said the company’s coffee always aims to retain the preference of foreign customers, including Chinese.

According to the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority, in the previous fiscal year 2020/2021, Ethiopia earned US $ 906 million from the export of 248,000 tonnes of coffee.


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