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Identity record

Country map with highlighted region
  • Capital city

    Addis Ababa
  • Coffee area

  • Average farm area

  • Geography

    Highlands and primary forest
  • Harvest period

    October - January
  • Number of coffee growers

  • Number of people living from the coffee industry

  • Number of harvests per year

  • Bag production per year

  • Main varieties

    74110, 74112, 74140, Geisha, Heirloom, Wush wush

Coffee production areas

Click on the area you want to observe

Harvest periods

Harvest period

Secondary harvest

West Arsi

The coffee sector from the country

The sectorGeographyMain actorsExport Ports

The sector

The industry is segmented according to the different stages of production: growers, collectors and exporters. The growers deliver their cherries to collectors (akrabi), who own the necessary washing and drying stations to process cherries and parchment. Each collector is licenced to operate in a specific woreda (district). Growers also dry some cherries for sale to collectors of husks (djenfel), to create grade 4 and 5 natural lots. Some have their own stations and process their own cherries; these are generally farmers owning more than 35 hectares of land. 

The collectors then deliver their lots to the ECX (Ethiopian Commodity Exchange) auction market, or directly to exporters under a vertical integration contract. Each grower, collector and exporter must have its own licence. It is possible for one person to own all licences. 

Foreigners are not entitled to apply for a licence, but are authorised to operate as agents (Commercial Representative Office, or CRO). Those with investor status can own a plantation of at least 150 hectares and export their own production. 


Ethiopia is Arabica’s country of origin. It offers a rich mix of terroirs, biodiversity and practices that are unlike any other in the world of coffee. The high-altitude rainforests in the south-western region of present-day Ethiopia are where Arabica coffee originated from. Farmers still use these forests to grow coffee, in more or less complex agroforestry systems. 

The Kaffa and Yayu biosphere reserves are now protected by UNESCO. Thousands of unidentified varieties grow there. 150 have been identified, and 35 are distributed by the Jimma Research Centre (JRC). They serve as a reservoir, a bit like a savings account, from which both JRC researchers and growers can draw to manage diseases such as rust or adapt to new growing altitudes and climate change. Wild coffee trees grow in nature at altitudes of 500 to 2,400 metres. 

Local farmers have used their in-depth knowledge of the forests to develop original, resilient farming systems. The Jimma-Limmu-Gera, Nekemte and Kaffa appellation areas in the south-west and the Guji and West Arsi appellation areas to the south are dominated by a semi-forest system. In southern (Yirgacheffe, Sidama) and eastern (Harrar) Ethiopia, there are mostly orchards (gardens), with varying degrees of agroforestry adoption. Coffee is grown mainly in the highlands in southern and south-western Ethiopia, at altitudes ranging from 1,500 to 2,400 metres. Harvesting often coincides with the dry season, which means that all the coffees we supply can be sun-dried on tables.

Main actors

The Tea and Coffee Authority is the Ethiopian government agency responsible for regulating the industry. It sets minimum weekly export prices, for example. All contracts are registered with the National Bank of Ethiopia and must comply with Tea and Coffee Authority guidelines. 

The JRC plays a significant role in identifying varieties ans selecting, producing and distributing seeds.

Export Ports


Belco, Ethiopia

Belco est présent en Ethiopie depuis 2015 et l'ouverture de l'agence éthiopienne. Le point de départ était la connaissance de ce grand pays de café, terre d'origine de l'arabica. Le projet de départ était de mettre au service de la tasse et de la qualité, une compréhension et une connaissance des différents terroirs.

Nous inversions la perspective en faisant partir nos processus d'importations depuis la ferme caféière. La traçabilité occupait alors toute sa place et la connaissance du terrain accompagnait notre équipe parallèlement à un contrôle qualité et une connaissance du terrain.

L'Ethiopie abrite plus de variétés que l'ensemble des variétés à l'échelle mondiale et offre une caféiculture durable et respectueuse de l'environnement. Le pays offre des qualités et une diversité uniques au monde.

En assurant une présence continue et en mobilisant toutes les compétences nécessaires à l'importation, Belco assure un sourcing précis, soigné et de qualité.

Photo of sourcer

Sourcer's word

"L'équipe Belco en Ethiopie s'est construite depuis dix ans autour de personnes passionnées et reconnues dans le monde du café. Tous, nous partageons un amour pour le produit et le pays qui a vu naitre cette plante magnifique, le coffea arabica. Toute notre expérience et nos compétences sont au service des artisans torréfacteurs souhaitant sourcer des cafés de qualité avec une traçabilité qui permet de comprendre l'environnement dans lequel sont produits des cafés de qualité. Il reste encore beaucoup de terroirs à découvrir et à valoriser en Ethiopie. Avec le soutien des artisans torréfacteurs, notre rôle est de les mettre en lumière."

Jacques Chambrillon, directeur de l'agence Belco Éthiopie

The producers

Coffees product in Ethiopia

Our other coffee origins