ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia has revealed a comprehensive action plan for its coffee sector to align with the European Union Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR), as announced by the Ministry of Finance.  

The unveiling follows a high-level consultative meeting between the Ethiopian government and development partners involved in the coffee sector to address the stipulations of the EUDR, adopted by the European Parliament and Council on June 29, 2023. 

The EUDR targets commodities, including coffee, timber, beef, palm oil, soy, cocoa, and rubber, intending to ensure they are deforestation-free when placed on the EU market.  

The regulation seeks to diminish the European Union’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and global biodiversity loss. 

Semereta Sewasew, Finance State Minister, underscored the socio-economic significance of coffee and emphasized the government’s commitment to complying with the EUDR.  

She expressed concerns about the tight enforcement timeline, particularly challenging for countries like Ethiopia with fragmented coffee growing systems managed by smallholder farmers.  

Semereta conveyed the government’s expectation of a positive response from the EU regarding a requested time extension to adequately prepare and provide assurances for Ethiopian coffee buyers in the EU. 

David Krivanek, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to Ethiopia, affirmed the EU’s dedication to combatting climate change and ensuring commodities on the EU market do not contribute to deforestation.  

He stressed that the regulation aligns with global commitments against climate change and assured support for Ethiopia in addressing challenges during the EUDR implementation. 

The National Action Plan, developed to facilitate EUDR compliance, identifies opportunities and threats for Ethiopia’s coffee sector. The plan outlines specific actions to be executed over the next three years, emphasizing collaboration between the Ethiopian government and the EU. 

While highlighting potential consequences, the Ministry of Finance noted that the EUDR could adversely affect the livelihoods of smallholders and job opportunities throughout the coffee value chain. Moreover, it has the potential to disrupt the well-established market dynamics between Ethiopia and EU member countries. 

The Finance State Minister, Semereta Sewasew, said, “We will take relentless efforts to comply with the EUDR in collaboration with relevant actors and stakeholders.”  

David Krivanek expressed the EU’s commitment to jointly supporting Ethiopia in overcoming challenges tied to EUDR implementation. 

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