Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Ethiopia

Do you have a Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (FFV) business in Ethiopia? Are you interested in increasing your Fresh Fruit and Vegetable exports via sea freight? The Netherlands Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) can help you. If you want an improved market position in the EU, CBI’s Ethiopian Horticulture to a Sustainable Export Alternative (SEA) project offers you good opportunities:

  • Find out which opportunities there are for your company on European markets and Gulf Region markets;
  • Learn more about European requirements, legislation and certification;
  • Learn everything you need to know to be a successful exporter;
  • Get assistance from our sector experts;
  • Exhibit at leading international trade fairs.  

Project details

The fresh fruit and vegetable industry is doing well. Healthy living trends are helping boost the consumption of fruit and vegetables. Ethiopia has a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Some of these, such as avocados, have great potential on the European market. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also offers opportunities for a wide range of products from Ethiopia, for example:

  • sweet potatoes
  • mangos
  • grapes
  • avocados; and
  • other vegetables.  

This project aims to help Ethiopia’s strong horticulture sector do more business in these international markets. The project will do this by:

  • Increasing the sustainability and competitiveness of the Ethiopian FFV sector. This project aims to shift export towards sea freight instead of air freight. At the moment, Ethiopia depends on air freight. But air freight has high costs and is bad for the environment. The potential volumes of sea freight exports are larger, and the cost is lower.
  • Focusing on responsible business practices and sustainability among producers. For example, the project will look at certification and good agricultural practices.  

This project will end in 2025.

What can you expect from this CBI project?

CBI offers technical assistance through a practical business export coaching project. This project is for (aspiring) exporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the FFV sector from Ethiopia. CBI prepares your company with the skills and knowledge you need to enter the European market. The project includes:

  • 4 years of company coaching provided by an international and local specialist;
  • Assistance with the creation of an international market strategy;
  • Assistance in deciding which certification suits your market entry strategy and coaching to get it;
  • Help to improve your responsible business conduct;
  • A market orientation mission to Europe;
  • Participation in international trade fairs;
  • Extra training on specific topics such as international trade fair participation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR);
  • Coaching on how to organise exports via sea freight.  

Who can apply?

Country: Ethiopia Sector: Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Products: All types of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables

You can apply for this project if your company meets these requirements:

  • Type of company:
    • Exporters that are also producers;
    • Size: SMEs;
    • Exporters-producers: 25-500 employees;
    • At least 51% locally owned;
  • No joint venture with a company based in a non-developing country;
  • No licensing commitments that prohibit or limit the export of products to the European Union;
  • Competitive prices and sufficient production capacity;
  • Management that can communicate in English.  

What do we expect from you?

CBI is looking for ambitious and highly motivated SMEs that are:

  • Pro-active and flexible;
  • Fully committed to the activities and external coaching throughout the project;
  • Willing to pay for costs related to activities. For example, part of the costs for trade fair participation and sustainability activities. CBI and its partners do not cover the costs of travelling, lodging and sending in samples;
  • Willing to invest in improving CSR practices in their company;
  • Willing to take part with dedicated and qualified people during all CBI visits, workshops and training sessions. Please note that all activities will be in English;
  • Willing to invest time into the action plan made for their company;
  • Committed to investing in the necessary changes to become successful in the European market and increase sustainability. Changes may apply to staff allocation, your products, production and export marketing;
  • Willing to provide CBI and its partners with their company’s name, logo and achievements for promotion of the project;
  • Willing to inform CBI about the company’s progress in terms of export and sustainability. CBI will treat the provided information as confidential;
  • Ambitious and motivated to take the next step with their company.  


You do not have to pay a fee to take part in this project. CBI will finance most project costs. But participants must pay for the following costs:

  • Flights and other travel expenses for European trade show activities. Please note that CBI will cover the costs of the Market Orientation Mission;
  • Domestic travel expenses if training sessions are outside your city.


CBI will work with these partners and other organisations to help the companies taking part in this project. Together, we will create a sector export marketing plan to deal with the challenges in the sector and improve sector branding. This will help the Ethiopian FFV sector become better known on international markets.


The deadline for completing the application form was 31 January 2022.

For questions or more information, please contact us at

Fresch Fruit and Vegetables
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