UNDERSTANDING THE ETHIOPIAN COFFEE TRADE

Established in 2008, the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) was created to streamline the international trade of Ethiopian crops. The ECX provides knowledge of national and international market price to small garden farmers, who make up the majority of producers. In Ethiopia 90% of coffee farmers are operating on a backyard scale, producing only 1-2 jute bags per harvest. The ECX provides farmers with local stations at which to sell their crops, instead of having to travel miles to the nearest city. This saves farmers money and time, and it empowers them with knowledge of fair wages. Once the farmers sell their crop to the ECX warehouse, they are promptly paid the next day and their coffee is taken to be sorted and milled. Because it pools and sells coffees from each region of the country, the ECX makes it difficult to trace beans back to a specific farm. However, the centralization allows for better support Ethiopia's small farmers.