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    UNIS/OUS/282
    4 May 2015

    Re-issued as received

    New public-private partnership to boost Ethiopian coffee production, benefit local farmers and consumers

    VIENNA/MILAN, 4 May (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - The Italian coffee roasting company illycaffè, the Ernesto Illy Foundation and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will join forces to develop the value chain of Ethiopian coffee, making the production more inclusive and sustainable and benefitting both farmers and consumers.

    This was noted in a memorandum of understanding signed in Milan today during the Coffee Cluster of the Milan EXPO 2015. The event was attended by Andrea Illy, Chairman and CEO of illycaffè; Anna Illy, Vice President of the Ernesto Illy Foundation; and Philippe Scholtès, UNIDO's Managing Director. Mebrathu Meles, State Minister of the Ethiopian Ministry of Industry, and Luca Zelioli, Head of the Multilateral Development Cooperation Office (DGCS) at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, also took part.

    The public-private partnership will help introduce new technologies that will improve the quality and production capacity of small Ethiopian coffee growers and increase their income, advancing sustainable production, processing and international marketing.

    These activities will be supported under UNIDO's project "Improving the sustainability and inclusiveness of the Ethiopian coffee value chain through private and public partnership", funded by the Italian Development Cooperation. "UNIDO's partnership approach is part of the organization's focus on promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development," said Philippe Scholtès.

    "This project will support thousands of small Ethiopian coffee growers and their families on their path to prosperity."

    Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of coffee. Currently, over 20 million Ethiopians depend on its production and sales.

    The project will also help introduce effective cluster and sustainable supplier development models, including the "Illy responsible supply chain process certification".

    "The new public-private partnership seamlessly integrates into the Programme for Country Partnership for Ethiopia, which was recently developed by UNIDO to bring together investors and specialists in support of the country's progress towards becoming a middle-income country by the year 2025," said Scholtès.

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    For more information, please contact:

    Aurelia Calabro
    Chief, UNIDO Agro-Industries Technology Unit
    Email: a.calabro[at]unido.org