Fana: At a Speed of Life!

Ethiopia unveils coffee sector action plan to meet EUDR

Addis Ababa, February 7, 2024 (FBC) – A high-level consultative meeting was held between the government of Ethiopia and Development Partners working in the coffee sector on the new European Union Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR), which was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on June 29, 2023.

The regulation aims to ensure that products such as coffee and six other commodities (timber, beef, palm oil, soy, cocoa, and rubber) placed on the EU market are deforestation-free and thereby reduce the Union’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and global biodiversity loss.

The high-level consultative meeting was attended by Ms. Semereta Sewasew, Sate-Minister of Finance, David Krivanek, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to Ethiopia, Director General of Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority, Adugna Debela and representatives from the Embassies of the EU Member States, UN agencies and the World Bank.

The purpose of the meeting was to present the National Action Plan for the implementation of compliance measures on the EUDR.

During the meeting, the state minister emphasized the socio-economic importance of coffee and the relentless effort the government will take to comply with the EUDR in collaboration with relevant actors and stakeholders.

The state minister also expressed her concerns about the short time that the EUDR will get into enforcement making it difficult for countries like Ethiopia that have fragmented coffee growing systems managed by smallholder farmers. She has therefore indicated the government’s expectation to receive a positive response from the EU on the request for a time extension submitted to the European Union to adequately prepare and give assurances for Ethiopian coffee buyers in the EU until Ethiopia responds to the EUDR compliance measures.

The Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia highlighted the EU’s commitment to the fight against climate change and its determination to ensure commodities that will be available on the EU market are no longer contributing to deforestation. He said the intention of the regulation is to contribute to global commitments of fighting against climate change and does not discriminate against countries.

The Deputy Head also acknowledged the efforts to develop Ethiopia’s National Action Plan for EUDR compliance measures and expressed the EU’s commitment to jointly support Ethiopia in addressing the challenges that may arise in the implementation of the EUDR.

The National Action Plan has clearly identified the opportunities and threats that the EUDR brings to Ethiopia’s Coffee sector. It also constitutes the action items that will be executed for the next three years as part of complying with the EUDR. On top of threatening the livelihoods of smallholders, and job opportunities across the coffee value chain, the EUDR would also adversely affect the well-established market with EU Member countries. Hence, the action plan designed alternatives and remedial actions to cope with preventing and addressing the negative consequences of the new regulation.

According to the Ministry of Finance, development partners have also shown their commitment to closely work with the government and support the implementation of the National Action Plan aimed at complying with the EUDR.

The meeting also deliberated on the need to minimize the unintended negative consequences of the regulation and to put in place sustainable financing mechanisms, clearly defined certification and verification systems, and a viable timeline for activities.

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