Sustainability in the Ethiopian Coffee Supply Chain
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- Master of Science 
Coffee is one of the most important commodities in the world, and Ethiopia is among the largest producers and exporters of coffee. A large share of Ethiopia’s population is either directly or indirectly dependant on the coffee industry. There is a recognition that companies are responsible for the social, environmental and economic consequences of the operations of their supply chain. A minor change in the coffee industry will have potential social, environmental and economic consequences for Ethiopia and its population. This highlights the importance of considering long-term sustainability of the Ethiopian coffee supply chain. Our aim is to discuss how the Ethiopian coffee supply chain can become more sustainable. To answer our research question, we conducted an exploratory case study. Our primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews, informal conversations, observations, field notes and visual data throughout a field trip to Ethiopia. We combined our primary data with secondary sources. We assured quality of our data and followed ethical guidelines. Based on our findings we have mapped a general Ethiopian coffee supply chain, consisting of the following steps: production, harvesting, primary processing, Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, Control and Liquoring Unit, secondary processing, domestic consumption, export and end-consumer. Further, we identified the main challenges and opportunities in terms of sustainability along the coffee supply chain. The main challenges and opportunities include smallholder farmer restrictions, coffee quality, waste management, and aspects related to the coffee price. Our findings reveal that the main improvement potential lies within cooperatives and unions, certification schemes, the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, secondary processing and waste management. In conclusion, we see that sustainability implications play an important role in the overall sustainability of the Ethiopian coffee supply chain. Our contribution to the field is a map of a general Ethiopian coffee supply chain, and an overview of some of the main sustainability challenges and opportunities along the chain. In addition, our research has detected areas in which the coffee supply chain can become more sustainable.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Logistics, operations and supply chain management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2020