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Secretary Kerry Congratulates Ethiopia Commodity Exchange for their Achievement

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry participated in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) CEO Anteneh Assefa and Tadele Abraha, owner of Green Coffee, and USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller in recognition of the ECX coffee laboratory becoming the first in Africa to meet the rigorous quality standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).

With the certification, U.S. importers of Ethiopian coffee will be able to purchase Ethiopian coffee with confidence that the coffee they receive will be of a specific quality.

Certified labs provide consistent testing, grading and objective evaluation of coffee throughout the world. Lab inspectors ensure global compliance and are an integral part of working toward consistency in grading and evaluation of specialty coffee. Using consistent grading and adhering to international standards will increase the value of Ethiopian Coffee in international markets.

The U.S. Government, through USAID, has supported the Ethiopian coffee sector for the past eight years. The current project, the Agribusiness and Market Development project under the Feed the Future Initiative, and previous projects, provided training, capacity building and marketing support to the sector.

Coffee exports ($860 million last year) are Ethiopia’s top export earner. In 2012, Ethiopia exported $61 million of coffee to the U.S. including sales to Starbucks, Whole Foods and Green Mountain Coffee.

This article originally appeared on the USAID Mission Ethiopia website.

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