Ethiopia: Firm Plans to More Than Double Ethiopia’s Coffee

Article from the Ethiopian Herald

Horizon Plantations and Ethio Agri-CEFT reportedly plan to more than double Ethiopia’s coffee and tea exports.

Part of the MIDROC umbrella group of companies, Ethio Agri-CEFT plans to expand its tea output, according to Africa Report.

Managing director of the firm, Jemal Ahmed told Africa Report that Horizon Plantations has planned to raise its coffee outputs to 25,000 tons.

The managing director said one hundred percent of the coffee output is planned to be exported and the firm is also set to construct an instant coffee processing plant in the near future.

The firm trades its premium coffee through the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe and counts Starbucks, Munich-based Dallmayr, Germany’s second largest roaster Tchibo, and Seattle-based Caffe Vita, it was indicated.

It produces more than 10,000 tons of coffee from its 25,000 hectare, of which 70 percent is exported.

Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest producer of the bean anticipates record-high exports by the end of the fiscal year ending July.

Total coffee production in Ethiopia amounted to 450,000 tons over the 2013/14 period, according to official figures.

Officials expect a similar amount this season. It exported around 190,000 tons in 2013/14, earning 841 million USD, down from the record high of 193,000 tons the year before, according to Africa Report.

Among the sectors that will see an expansion include tea production.

MIDROC’s Ethio Agri-CEFT produces a total of 5,700 tons of tea leaves annually from the 1,249-hectare Wush Wush plantation and the 860-hectare Gumaro, and expects production to rise to 7,000 tons in the next few years.

The firm is set to export 1,300 tons by the end of the 2014-2015. Its buyers include Unilever’s Lipton.

“Ethiopia is one of the very few countries which have opportunities to invest in virgin land. For us, (tea) was just a startup but the next step will be big,” Jemal was quoted as saying.

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