Ethiopia could position itself as a low-cost Arabica naturals producer, but it faces constraints, notably an inefficient supply chain and the low productivity of smallholder coffee farmers.
Ethiopia’s Natural Arabicas have the highest sourcing costs in East Africa, around 40% of the average 2012/13 international price of US$1.29/lb, limiting the farmers’ share to 60% of the export price. This compares with 70% for Kenya’s Washed Arabicas and 72% for Uganda’s Natural Arabicas.
has led to complaints from specialty roasters about the difficulty of accessing single-origin beans in Ethiopia, which are now only available via unions or plantations. Specialty roasters have also raised concerns that ECX grading is opaque