Our Ethopian Experience Part Two: The Coffee

Category: One BIGG Island in Space

Facts on the Ground


By just about every measure (GDPaverage incomepoverty rate, etc.) Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is also a net importer, meaning that it buys more from the world than it sells.


Commodities, including coffee, are sold on global exchanges in hard currency, usually US Dollars. So are things vital to the country that they can’t make themselves, like medicine, car parts, and airplanes, to name a few. So, the government is very interested in anything that can bring in hard currency. And very strict about controlling the ways in which it can be used once it enters the country.


What does this mean for coffee? Simply put, they are growing some of the best coffee in the world, and they aren’t going to “waste” any of it on the domestic market. Growers are obliged to export all of their specialty grade coffee. It’s just too valuable, in terms of hard currency, to keep. And the Government has many strict systems in place to ensure that they do.



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