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Top Sustainability Experts meet in Ethiopia, the legendary home of coffee



Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16 February 2012. Ato Fikru Amenu, Deputy Director in the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture launched the Second African Coffee Sustainability Forum: “Creating market access through sustainable practices” in Addis Ababa on 15 February 2012.Over 130 participants representing the main stakeholders in the African coffee sector took part in the event. The Forum was organized by the 4C Association and the Eastern African Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA) and built on the success of last year’s meeting in Arusha, Tanzania.
This year’s Forum focused on three main topics regarding sustainable coffee production: coffee quality and productivity, climate change and capacity building and organizational development. Key expert speakers addressed these topics in plenary sessions. Besides the presentations, the delegates took part in parallel working groups for in-depth discussions on these issues. Participants exchanged lessons learned as well as shared best practices and jointly identified possible solutions to the challenges. 
“The Forum is becoming the annual must attend event for all those concerned about sustainability in the African coffee sector. It is the participants who make the Forum such a dynamic and collaborative space by bringing the issues to the table and working together to address them. The 4C Association is proud of facilitating this exchange with its member and partner EAFCA." , stated Melanie Rutten-Sülz, Executive Director of the 4C Association.
Among the 130 participants were representatives from producer organizations, members of trade and industry, academia, sustainability standards, NGOs, financial institutions, public sector entities and development cooperation agencies. Besides those active in the African coffee sector, there was also an important presence of delegates from other regions, most notably Brazil. The aim was to present experiences from other countries and regions in order to increase cross-border and inter-regional cooperation.
"It was inspiring to see all these people sharing their knowledge and putting their ideas together to build a more sustainable African coffee sector. Issues such as climate change or quality and productivity cannot be addressed by only a few companies or organizations. There is an increasing understanding that cooperation among all the actors is needed to find long-lasting solutions to these problems", said Samuel N. Kamau, Executive Director of EAFCA.
The Forum was sponsored and supported by the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and 4C Members Nestle, Tchibo and Kraft Foods in the framework of the IDH Coffee Program, currently in its final stage of development. 
"For IDH, the Sustainability Forum represents a unique opportunity to engage with local stakeholders in preparation for the upcoming IDH Coffee Program. We very much appreciate that the Forum focused on the challenges that producers face when scaling up production of sustainable coffee. We will continue to engage in this kind of exchange platforms in the future and will maintain an ongoing dialogue with the 4C Association as a coffee sector platform." stated Ted van der Put, IDH Program Director.


Forum presentations available here.


For more information about the Forum or to schedule an interview, please contact:Media contacts:
Veronica Perez, 4C Communication Manager, at: veronica.perez@4c-coffeeassociation.org or +25-1928954578 (until Saturday, 18 February) +49 228 8505015 (from 20 February onwards)
or
Martin Maraka, EAFCA Programs Associate, at: martin.maraka@eafca.org or +256 0714317892.
For more information on the 9th AFCC & E please visit: www.africanfinestcoffee.com



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