【The Power of Two】Elias Yifter : Wete Ambela Coffee
First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank TYPICA for organizing this beautiful event,so we can introduce ourselves to roasters and also all the coffee family.
My name is Elias and this is Mekuria Mergia. We are from Wete Ambela Coffee Export PLC, which is a specialty coffee export company in Ethiopia.
Mekuria has more than 25 years of experience in the coffee processing industry, as a coffee processor and a local supplier. Before 2017, in Ethiopia, it wasn’t allowed for a local coffee processors and suppliers to become coffee exporters as well. Because at that time, all the coffee was traded through the Ethiopian commodity exchange between the local suppliers and the exporters.
In 2018, once the regulation was changed to allow local suppliers to have export licenses, Mekuria founded Wete Ambela Export PLC to be able to export the best quality coffee directly from its source.
For me, after graduating with a finance degree, I joined one of the coffee export companies in Ethiopia, where I have gained a lot of experience in the coffee export business. I have more than 14 years of experience in the coffee export sector.
By combining both our experience and knowledge in these two different paths, we are working hard to achieve our visions. Our vision is to be the top supplier of specialty coffee exporter in Ethiopia in 2030. We believe in working together and collaboration. That is why we always encourage and assist the community around us.
To achieve our visions, we are more focused on improving the quality of coffee we process. We know that we cannot have good quality coffee if we are only focused on ourselves. That’s why we share premium payments to our outgrowth farmers around our washing stations, who deliver their coffees to us, so that they also know that if we work hard on improving the quality of the coffee, they also share the benefits.
At the end of every year, we have an annual meeting after collecting feedback from customers. We all gather together and discuss how to improve in any areas we face challenges during that year. And also share ideas about new coffee processing ways to improve our coffee qualities.
For example, this year we are working with Techno Serve, which is a non governmental organization who engages in educating coffee farmers and producers to improve their coffee processing and production methods. We have also Organic and JAS certified our Wote Konga and Benti Nenka washing stations.
For us, coffee is not a commodity or a crop which we work to get a profit. Most Ethiopians drinks coffee as a family, as a community surrounding a coffee pot we call jebena. Every day to share our ideas, socialize with one another, celebrate an event or confronting someone’s loss. We want to share this feeling with the world. And by working with small coffee farmers, we want to share the feeling we receive while we drink our coffee in the morning as a family, as a community.
So thank you very much and hope to have shared a good quality coffee with you.