Ethiopia gets set to host the ICO’s World Coffee Conference

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) is hosting the 116th International Coffee Council in conjunction with the 4th World Coffee Conference (WCC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 6 –11 March. Held every four to five years, the 2016 WCC is being held at the United Nations Conference Centre, under the theme Nurturing Coffee Culture and Diversity. The event includes a three-day exhibition from 7 – 9 March, the WCC from 6 – 8 March and the International Coffee Council (ICC) meeting from 9 – 11 March. The ICC, which meets twice a year to examine issues relating to the coffee trade, will resume discussions from its previous meeting in Italy last September. The 4th World Coffee Conference (WCC) will see panel discussions from local and international industry professionals on a range of topics concerning the coffee industry. Executive Director at World Coffee Research, Dr Tim Shilling will join three esteemed academics to review the latest developments in research and the role new technologies will play in improving production. The First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Roman Tesfaye will join a panel to offer her perspective on how gender equality can be obtained in the coffee industry. Senior Economist, Agricultural Global Practice, World Bank, Roy Parizat will moderate a discussion examining the major market forces, and the impact of high volatility for coffee farmers. WCC delegates will be introduced to the ICO’s latest project with USAID on Climate Smart Coffee, and have the opportunity to hear the latest on the ICO’s coffee and climate initiative. Launched in 2010 by key players in the private, development and research sectors, the coffee and climate program aims to address key challenges posed by changing climatic conditions. The 4th WCC will draw to a close with a Gala Dinner at the Hilton Hotel. The first three conferences have taken place in London in 2001, Brazil in 2005 and Guatemala in 2010. Ethiopia is Africa’s largest exporter and the fifth largest of Arabica in the world. Over 5 million Ethiopians make their living from its more than 6000 distinct coffee varieties.

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