Some perspectives on the ECX

It’s a lot of reading (which potentially leads to a lot more), which I’ve only touched on, and which I’m still ploughing through. Rather than attempting to comment on something I don’t know about, I just wanted to post this collection of links I’ve come across today, for anyone else who might be new to the subject, and interested…

As you’ll see, there is a link to the ECX too, but unfortunately it just doesn’t seem to be working very well, at present…

(Update: Ah! The site itself now seems to be working.)

2 Responses to “Some perspectives on the ECX”

  1. dale Says:

    as with you i wouldn’t want to comment – i do have open questions though…

    as Baristas, excited about coffee, learning about coffee, involved with coffee but not actually buying the stuff at source – should we be involved in this debate? and if so, how do we make a difference?

    if we support this initiative do we encourage drinkers to try ethiopian regional types? do we continue to buy/brew/drink irrespective of the effect on our ‘coffee purity’ for the higher cause of market stability/security?

    if we don’t do we pressure employers/roasters etc. to stop buying e. coffees, lowering demand, prices and quality of life of farmers who grow some of the most interesting coffees I’ve tasted because of (poss. corrupt) government decisions?

    or do we buy outside of the system – the biloyas/arichas etc. from larger, independently able farms, increasing the wealth of a limited farm regardless of the effect this has on smaller farmers?

    i do not understand a great deal in this debate – but I’m following it with great interest

  2. thebeanvagrant Says:

    Likewise, as a barista, I just try to do the best I can with coffee once it gets to me. I don’t know about the buying and selling of coffee, nor do I know much about the particular politcal and economic situation in Ethiopia. Or the ECX for that matter! Therefore I’m not qualified to make any judgements, and I too don’t feel it’s my place to comment in-depth on this topic – I can only offer an uninformed initial impression.

    But I do love Ethiopian coffee. And, it does seem rather sad, and senseless, if some of the most exquisite, unique, and characterful beans there are, have to be blended-in with all the others of variying quality to produce a standard-issue regional coffee (lovely as this may be). It just seems sort of …wasteful. In much the same way, I’m sure some people would be bemused and horrified to see wine from the best estates in the best vintages simply tossed into a regional blend.

    It seems a shame that growers of premium crops who invest in quality and take pride in their produce can’t recieve a high price for the best beans, and that people the world over won’t get to experience the individual magic of these coffees.

    Perhaps there are some (tenuous!) parallels with Fair Trade. While the ‘official’ FairTrade model might be a good thing for a lot of coffee growers generally, guaranteeing a basic minimum price, does it therefore mean we should exclude and ban other types of trade like paying even higher prices to growers/estates producing the best coffees? This model perhaps better incentivises sustained quality, good practices, and sustainable buying relationships.

    Can people still buy ‘outside the system’ in Ethiopia? From the bits and pieces I’ve read I didn’t realise it was still possible… If it is, then perhaps there is no problem; as the two systems can perhaps happily operate alongside each other.

    If this new system actually benifits the growers, the coffee, and Ethiopia, then I’m all for it, and perhaps it just needs some time to be adjusted and modified – and if the world looses some great coffees for a year or so, then so be it. I only hope it might not be just another way that yet another government has thought of to make more money from its people with the pretence of the new system being for the People’s benifit; which could potentially be more damaging than good…

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