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    Utz Kapeh and ITC to Develop African Premium Coffee


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2006

    © ITC Utz Kapeh Executive Director, David Rosenberg (centre), with ITC officials after signing the agreement.

    In September 2006, Utz Kapeh, a non-governmental organization, signed an agreement with ITC to develop the supply of certified, socially and environmentally responsible coffee in Ethiopia and Zambia.

    Two pilot projects will help poor smallholder coffee farmers - about 5,000 beneficiaries in Ethiopia and about 1,000 in Zambia - to produce coffee that meets standards demanded by ethically conscious consumers.

    Utz Kapeh, meaning "good coffee" in a Mayan language, is a worldwide certification programme that sets the standard for responsible coffee production and sourcing. Its code of conduct requires coffee producers to establish good agricultural and business practices and to fulfil social and environmental criteria. Utz Kapeh certification allows producers to charge a premium price.

    Under the agreement, Utz Kapeh will assist coffee farmers to improve the quality of their product by establishing a group management system, distributing producer manuals and training farmers on good agricultural practices, while helping them tap into export markets for socially and environmentally friendly coffee. It will also help farmers' groups with auditing and linking to roaster companies.

    ITC will provide technical assistance to create farmers' groups and specialized training to the coffee producers on price risk management, marketing and good agricultural practices.

    For more information, contact Fabrice Leclercq, ITC Senior Trade Promotion Officer, atleclercq@intracen.org