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Fairchain coffee: Revolution or false promise?

From the October 2016 issue.

A Dutch coffee company is seeking to turn the coffee value chain upside down by roasting and packing their coffee at origin.

Ahadu Woubshet

The second-largest coffee roasting factory in Ethiopia is hidden in a quiet backstreet of hectic Addis Ababa. In the reception area, Managing Director Ahadu Woubshet starts his day with an espresso. He used to work as a coffee trader and is one of the founders of the Ethiopian coffee exchange. “We primarily traded green beans. I was wondering whether we could start roasting locally in order to get more value out of our own beans.”

In 2011 he met the Dutch social entrepreneur Guido van Staveren van Dijk during the World Economic Forum in Addis Ababa.

“He told me about his FairChain idea and I said I had exactly the same plan.”

The two men joined forces and Moyee Coffee was born. From aid to trade Founder and Director of Moyee Coffee van Staveren van Dijk tells about his ambition to produce the world’s first FairChain coffee.

“Fairtrade did a wonderful job for over 25 years to increase the awareness of consumers about unfair coffee chains. But the life of a coffee farmer has not improved at all. FairChain takes an additional big step.”

According to van Staveren van Dijk, only 0.6 per cent of the coffee that is consumed in Western countries is roasted in the countries of origin.

“If we could increase this to 5 per cent, we could boost local economic development with billions of dollars. We can then finally stop giving development aid.”

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