During the 114th Session of the International Coffee Council held in London from 2nd – 6th March, a delegation led by H.E. Ambassador Berhanu Kebede presented Ethiopia’s preparations to host the fourth World Coffee Conference and actively participated in the deliberation of the conference.
It is to be recalled that during the 112th Session of the International Coffee Council held in London last year, Ethiopia won the bid to host the World Coffee Conference together with the 116th Session of the International Coffee Council in Addis Ababa in March 2016 – the first time the conference will be held in Africa.
The agenda of the 114th session included inter alia, a progress report on the preparation of the fourth World Coffee Conference in Addis; sustainable coffee partnerships; the impact of climate change on the coffee sector and the global coffee market.
Ethiopia’s delegation made a thorough presentation on the measures taken by the national preparatory committee with regards to logistical arrangements, side events, exhibitions, the launching of a dedicated website and other relevant information pivotal to the success of the upcoming conference.
The delegation also proposed two themes to be considered by the council for next year’s coffee conference: “Celebrating coffee culture from seed to cup” and “Increasing consumption through diversity and culture”.
The council, after considering the proposal, advised the delegation to consult with the International Coffee Organization (ICO) on the issue and inform member countries of the decision before the 115th Session of the Coffee Council in September to be held in Milan.
During the conference, the delegation also conducted a series of consultations with other members and organisations, especially with African coffee associations, with a view to mobilising a unified support from producers, consumers and roasters for the success of the conference. Similarly consultations with the ICO secretariat and influential members of the council was crucial in clarifying issues of concern and rallying behind Ethiopia, in its pursuit to galvanise their support for the successful staging of the conference.
Ethiopia will continue to consult with all stakeholders in the run up to the conference and integrate their input during the preparatory process.
A 10 minute film showcasing Ethiopia’s major tourist destinations, hotel facilities, the different modes of transport available and the nightlife in Addis was also shown.
At the end of the conference the delegation held a press conference with representatives of the international media on the ongoing preparations and expressed the commitment of the people and Government of Ethiopia in welcoming the entire coffee community to the birthplace of coffee. The delegation assured them that the fourth World Coffee Conference will be a memorable and a successful event.
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