Ethiopia's Local farm produce to be used in-flight meals

Posted on :Wednesday , 6th January 2021

Ethiopian Airlines and the United States have announced a new partnership deal to allow the country's flagship carrier to manufacture goods and ingredients locally produced for the preparation of global passenger in-flight food.


Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam and the U.S. CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group. Michael Raynor, Ambassador, signed an Agreement in which the Ethiopian farmers and food production companies shall be provided with technical support and access to funding by the International Development Agency (USAID), to ensure that they comply with the quality and volume requirements of airlines in order to serve their customers. These new business ties will help farmers and local agribusinesses enter a prominent new market and raise their revenue streams – with annual sales of up to $10 million in total – while providing Ethiopian Airlines with farm-fresh ingredients directly imported from Ethiopia, thereby reducing the need for processed food from international suppliers for their catering services.


USAID funding would help Ethiopian Airlines identify local suppliers for the list of catering materials that may potentially be needed by the airline, as well as provide support to farmers' cooperatives, youth groups, women's groups and other local agricultural enterprises in order to meet production requirements. The U.S. government loan facility would also broaden access to financing for local businesses, farmer cooperative unions, and others to expand their operations as required to meet the quality and supply requirements of Ethiopian Airlines.


"We respect our relationship with USAID highly and extend our gratitude to USAID for all of its support. The new agreement consolidates our efforts to continue delivering high-quality in-flight meals to global passengers while intensifying our efforts to create an encouraging climate for local farmers across the value chain. We would like to continue our relationship with USAID in a variety of ways," said Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam.


"We are launching a partnership to illustrate how achievable it is to invest in other Ethiopian businesses and individuals in leading companies like Ethiopian Airlines, which will result in real home-grown economic success, which is potentially a model for other sector companies," Ambasser Raynor said.


This partnership arrangement is to run until December 2022 and will help to prepare for these potential supply linkages and collaborations for Ethiopian airlines and local producers and farmers groupings.


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