One of Ethiopia's largest coffee farmers' groups announced this week that it was planning to begin exports of organic coffee beans to Australia. Tadesse Meskela, the manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers' Union, told Reuters news agency that he had reached an agreement with a number of Australian coffee importers to buy Ethiopian coffee.
This follows a successful marketing tour of Australia, which was sponsored by Oxfam International and Fair Labelling Organisation, two non-governmental organisations which support coffee producing countries.
Australian coffee traders and a team of Australian agriculture ministry officials are due to visit Ethiopia to inspect the country's quality control procedures and to visit production areas before the exports go ahead. Leading coffee traders such as Starbucks are among those who will be visiting the country.
Oromia farmers' union, which represents 23,690 Ethiopian coffee farmers, expects to export more than 2,000 tonnes of coffee this season. At present, Ethiopia mainly exports coffee to Germany, the US, the UK and Japan.