[WLRC June 2024]: Water and Land Resource Centre, Addis Ababa University (WLRC, AAU), in collaboration with Consortium members, launched a new project on June 10, 2024, at Haile Grand in Addis Ababa. The project, designed by WLRC, Ethiopian Forestry Development (EFD), Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority (ECTA), and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern, is titled “Traceability Systems and Landscape Approaches for Sustainable Coffee Trade: Capturing and Reclaiming Value in the Global South (CARE for Value and Sustainability).”

Director General of ECTA, Dr. Adugna Debela

During his opening speech, the Director General of ECTA, Dr. Adugna Debela, emphasized the need for collaborative efforts among stakeholders to improve coffee trade to international standards. He highlighted the importance of aligning efforts with the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) to ensure sustainable coffee production and supply chains.

Dr. Gete Zeleke, the Director General of WLRC

Dr. Gete Zeleke, the Director General of WLRC, on his part emphasized the significance of coffee as a national asset requiring intervention from stakeholders at all levels. He stressed the importance of adapting useful clauses of the EUDR in Ethiopian coffee production and market to promote sustainability and engage producers in modern coffee market chains.

The Head of Sustainability Governance at CDE and Principal Investigator of the Project, Dr. Iur. Elisabeth Burgi Bonanomi, explained that the project aims to promote sustainable, deforestation-free coffee supply chains that prioritize ecological, sociocultural, and economic value creation in Ethiopia. The project seeks to adapt locally the EUDR sustainability criteria, support traceability and certification services in Ethiopia, and identify opportunities for stable financial incentives for producers.

The Guest of Honour at the project launch workshop, H.E. Tamara Mona, Ambassador of Switzerland for Ethiopia and South Sudan, expressed the Swiss Government’s commitment to supporting solution-oriented development projects. She highlighted the importance of implementing the EUDR to preserve the natural quality and test of coffee and provide incentives for producers.

The launching workshop was attended by about 60 people from WLRC, CDE, MoA, ECTA, EFD, various zones in Southwest Ethiopia and Oromia Regional States, universities, Kaffa and Yirgachefe Coffee Producers’ Associations, Coffee Exporters’ Association, and private coffee traders.

CARE for Value and Sustainability is a three-year (2024 – 2027) project funded by the Swiss Development and Cooperation through its Solution-Oriented Research for Development (SOR4D) Programme.