Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopia is for the second time hosting the second biggest coffee conference in the world next to that of the U.S. coffee forum, the ninth African fine coffees meeting, where over 1500 world buyers, roasters, market analysts from all over the world are expected to be attending the event.

On this special occasion when the organization declares to embrace Africa, hence renaming itself African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA), the leadership of Eastern Africa Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA): EAFCA chairman Harrison B. Kalua, EAFCA treasurer Robert W. Nsibirwa and EAFCA executive director, Samuel N. Kamau spoke to The Reporter’s Hayal Alemayehu about how the organization functions, how it evolved over the last decade and where it is leading. Excerpts:

The Reporter: What is the major function of EAFCA as a regional organization?
Kalua: The major function of EAFCA, which has now changed to AFCA, is focused on promoting quality production, processing and marketing where the production of quality coffees is the key area. In general, AFCA is a private organization promoting and marketing the production of quality coffees in Africa. Once we have the production, we make sure that the processing of the coffees employs new and improved technologies, thereby ensuring the production of quality coffees which will go to fine or specialty markets. In addition to that, we carry out lobbying with various players in the specialty coffee industry.

As an association we have a responsibility to lobby with governments of member countries on how the respective governments prioritize coffee as their major agenda. We lobby with the respective governments on issues that inhibit or prevent the proper production of quality coffees including trade regimes, farm inputs, technologies and taxes.

As coffee growing is a business, we need to lobby with governments on such issues that negatively impact the coffee business. We also lobby with logistics providers because if shipping and forwarding agencies are not doing a proper job, the market will be affected negatively. We, as well, lobby with financial institutions so that coffee growers in member countries can have access to bank loans. Read More

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