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Ethiopia: Kombe La Dhahabu: First Fairtrade Coffee Quality Contest in Ethiopia

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Kombe la Dhahabu means ‘golden cup’ in Swahili – and this is what the winner of the first Fairtrade coffee quality competition in Ethiopia, Torban Anfillo Coffee, received for outstanding coffee quality.

The monthly contest promotes Fairtrade coffees nationally and internationally. As well as encouraging value addition and fair income distribution by producing and commercializing quality coffees, the producers guarantee sustainable production processes.

Fairtrade Africa, in collaboration with Ethiopia Fairtrade producer’s country network, carried out this first Fairtrade coffee quality contest in Ethiopia in April 2021, with support from the International Trade Centre’s Alliance for Action programme, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Paulig Coffee and CLAC (the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers).

All of the seven certified unions participated with 19 specialty coffee sample lots. The category was full container with the following sample specifications: Arabica both washed and sundried/natural, minimum humidity of 9.5 and a maximum of 12 and screen size 14 and above. Judges included professional Q-graders, both local and international. International professional cupper Cecilia Sanada flew in from Brazil for this event: she was blown away by the winning results.

After this first-timer, the competition will continue to take place in each Eastern and Central African country, one month after the main coffee harvest season. An organizing committee including a representative of the National Coffee Product Networks and members of the Fairtrade Africa coffee team, manages the events.

Through the strategic three-way partnership of CLAC-Fairtrade, Fairtrade International and ITC’s Alliances for Action, the Golden Cup competition demonstrates that Fairtrade coffee can be both high quality and have positive social impact.

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