The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), the only regulated commodities market in the country, has adopted the Q Coffee Quality Certification System to grade specialty coffee consignments for export as part of efforts to improve access for sellers to international markets.
Developed by the US-based Quality Coffee Institute (QCI), the Q Coffee system relies on specially trained and certified coffee cuppers, who evaluate and grade coffee samples according to standards established by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). The result is a certificate of quality that is recognised by buyers in the United States, Asia and Europe and helps exporters obtain the proper price for their product.
In Ethiopia CQI has trained 37 ECX representatives in the use of two different grading systems, one for specialty coffee and the other for commercial coffee. The resulting Q certification is valid for one year.
ECX launched in 2008 to promote trade in Ethiopia by providing accurate and timely price information for producers. It currently trades in coffee, maize, wheat, haricot beans and sesame out of its headquarters in Addis Ababa and the prices are transmitted to electronic display boards at major markets across the country.