Zebad General Export and Import: Discussing the Coffee Sector in Ethiopia with Emebet Tafesse
Emebet Tafesse, CEO of Zebad General Export and Import
Interview with Emebet Tafesse, CEO of Zebad General Export and ImportWhat are the major challenges that you face to boost your business?
Competitiveness in terms of price, in terms of quality, in terms of delivery in the global market is a major challenge. There are more than 50 countries supplying coffee to the world. There are two types of coffee: arabica and robusta. There are countries like Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia
and some African countries. So, there is supply over the demand. Whenever the supply is over the demand, there is always a price pressure from the buyer because they have alternative sources. We should be competitive in the world market by improving in house management such as value chain management, efficient supply chain management, improving the policies, creating an enabling environment, and addressing the issue of the problems of export. We have about 4 million smallholder farmers who produce coffee in Ethiopia. They are just producing garden coffee. They are not big states so the productivity is very low. To bring the coffee to the washing station, to the Central Market, to regional markets, there is a heavy cost. When the coffee is reaching the Commodity Exchange or the warehouse of the farmers, the price is very high. With that price, if we purchase from others in the current market or from the Exchange or from the farmers and try to add some additional costs like processing, delivery, logistics, etc., the prices skyrocket and we cannot compete.....