Ethiopian, USAID Partner to Source Food from Local Farmers

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Addis Ababa  October 16/2020 (ENA) Ethiopian Airlines and USAID have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a new partnership that will enable the nation’s flagship carrier to source locally grown products for in-flight meals today.

Ethiopian Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam and US Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor signed the MoU.

With an initial USD 3 million, USAID will provide farmers and food producers technical assistance and access to finance in order to ensure that they meet the catering standards and volume of Ethiopian Airlines.

Furthermore, the business linkage will help farmers and local agribusiness reach a prominent new market and increase revenue streams with annual sales as high as 10 million USD while providing Ethiopian farm-fresh ingredients, it was learned.

US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Michael Raynor said: “The partnership we are launching today demonstrates what is achievable when prominent businesses like Ethiopian Airlines invest in other Ethiopian businesses and individuals, resulting in the truly home-grown economic success that has the potential to be a model for other sectors.”

Ethiopian CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam said, “the new partnership consolidates our effort to continue providing high-quality in-flight meals to global passengers while intensifying our effort in creating an enabling environment for local farmers across the value chain.”

Stating that the airline’s annual expense of imported food supply reaches 1 billion Birr, he stated that “this is a good opportunity to be able to substitute it locally.”

The partnership will run through 2022 and will help pave the way for Ethiopian Airlines and local producers and farmers groups to continue the supply linkage and partnership into the future.