Chamber Trade Sweden (CTS) visited Ethiopia and our partner organisation Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EPHEA), organizing producers in the area of flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables. A key issue for our cooperation is improving the competitiveness and marketability of Ethiopian horticulture products such as roses on the Swedish and Nordic market. Today, most roses as well as fresh fruits and green products go through Holland, losing their African origin and brand before reaching the consumer.
Chamber Trade Sweden visited Tana Flora, one of the members of EPHEA in Bahir Dar. It holds several ISO-certificates, uses sustainable technology on the farm that employs 500 persons, mostly women, of age 17 and above. Today it produces 76.000 first class stems twice a day sending them as cold freight evenings and mornings to Addis Ababa for direct flight to Europe. A rose from Ethiopia reaches its end consumer at latest three days after cutting. A critical issue is the lack of direct air freight transportation between Ethiopia and Sweden, which goes for other parts of Africa as well actually. Also, more know-how and skills need to be developed among the Ethiopian producers in areas like packaging, displaying, market trends and logistics.
One specific project CTS and EPHEA will be cooperating on is addressing the opportunity of making use of flower waste by converting it into compost. It is a question of making compost in a controlled way that will reduce the amount of waste on the farms and shorten the time before the compost can be packed and sold to be used by other farmers in the area. In the project a combination of mechanical chopping and controlled use of microorganisms will be used for the first time in Ethiopia. Tana Flora will be one of three pilot farms for this flower waste disposal project that will also be used as an educational center in the region.
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