Nestlé Cloning Ethiopia’s Coffee Taste: Giant Swiss Company Working to Recreate Ethiopian Flavor Leading CashCrop

Ethiopian Coffee Growers and Exporters React to New Development

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Coffee is close to 34% of Ethiopia’s total exports and 15 million of its citizens make a living from it according to some estimates. As regional varieties are becoming more and more dominant in international markets, Nestle, a Swiss Conglomerate is working to replicate the Ethiopian taste in the south of France.  DireTube explores the recent development in this article. 

A secret research facility in France is working on a big shocker for Ethiopian coffee stakeholders. Three types of beans are under development that when completed may replace the original highly desired original coffee beans in coffee cups across the world.

 In addition, the new laboratory created beans with Ethiopian Coffee Arabica taste and qualities are not destined to Ethiopia coffee farms. Strikingly they are headed to Brazil’s Dolce Gusto pods.

This comes as a surprise to many because Brazil forbids foreign beans from being cultivated in its country.

 The Swiss food and drink giant has found a way around this by receiving special permission from the Brazil authorities.

Notably, this permits them to try out the three Ethiopian coffee bean clones on Brazilian soil on ‘non-commercial facilities’, as was reported in a recent Bloomberg article.

Presently, this is causing a strong reaction in Ethiopia.  At first glance, this development appears like a threat to Ethiopia’s coffee industry. Yet, a coffee industry veteran who was interviewed last week by Capital Ethiopia feels differently. 

Eighty-five year old, Hailu Gebrehiwot, has been in the business for over fifty years.  He feels that this move could spur developments.  The veteran coffee exporter sees Nestle’s move as a good opportunity for Ethiopia, which he feels is not doing enough to fully exploit the natural advantages when it comes to coffee.

Nestle’s coffee research made front page on the Ethiopian newspaper. The headline expressed the potential angst throughout the coffee sector in the story this Sunday.

See Also: “Coffee colonizers Swiss Conglomerate’s move to grow Ethiopian Flavored coffee in Brazil alarming wakeup call”

Nestle’s Move Comes AS  Ethiopian Trade Mark Brands Gain Strength in World Markets

Of note, these alleged “coffee colonizers” actually have a strong presence in Ethiopia. For instance, last year, another major Ethiopia newspaper announced Nestle Ethiopia’s launch of a line of milk powder Nido FortiGrocw.

According to this same source, Nestle Ethiopia has been a major importer and wholesaler of numerous brands since 2006.  

Related: Nestle in Ethiopia (official website)

This is happening as coffee drinkers around the world are showing a growing preference for the Ethiopian coffee bean. Current statistics indicate that Ethiopia accounts for roughly 3% of the world market.

It is notable that other multinationals have acknowledged Ethiopia’s ownership rights of its coffee names. Starbucks, another multinational company has gone so far as to say they recognize Ethiopia’s ownership of three brands whether they are trademarked or not, according to this New York Times article from 2007.

 Significantly, these three dominate the gourmet coffee market. These are the Yirgacheffe, Harar and Sidamo varieties, also the names of the growing regions.

In regards to the Nestle project to yield the Ethiopian regional varieties, Pedro Malta an agricultural manager spoke to Bloomberg.  After three more harvests the company is ready to begin commercial production.

Coffee buyers around the world are willing to dish out lots of extra money for the Ethiopian coffee brands. 

 

Ethiopian coffee bean types are considered among the most desirable flavors in the world and sell at a premium.

Not only that there are communities that engage around topics relating to their favorite coffee brands. Casual discussions on a Reddit page we checked out go far as to identify special strains. For instance, one post clarifies that Kochere is a specific strain of Yirgacheffe.

See Full Discussion On Reddit here: Lovers of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

Fabiana Batista’s Story on Bloomberg 

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