Spices Ethiopia

Do you have a spice business in Ethiopia? Are you interested in exporting top-quality and sustainable spices to the European Union? 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 Spices Ethiopia project offers you good opportunities:

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

Programme details

European markets for sustainable and high-quality spices show fast growth. Traders have to meet stricter requirements for quality, sustainability and traceability. Exporters that can meet these criteria will find a growing market. At the same time, an increasing number of European consumers is prepared to pay higher prices for high-quality spices that have a special story. Ethiopia has a long history of supplying quality spices and can thus take advantage of this opportunity. Now is the time for further sustainable development in the spice supply chain in Ethiopia. This involves professional export business, certification and the story of a more inclusive sector, among other things.

To increase the potential of the spice sector, this project supports the transition to a high-quality and inclusive spice sector in Ethiopia 2021–2025. The project does this by:

  • Creating a strong position for the spice sector and its SMEs through added value (quality and sustainability) and diversification;
  • Making the spice sector more inclusive. Having a qualified and diverse workforce where women have suitable and decent jobs;
  • Improving the spice sectors’ service delivery for SMEs and the production of higher-quality top spices for export.

What can you expect from this CBI project?

This project is for (aspiring) exporting SMEs in the spice sector in Ethiopia. CBI offers technical assistance through a practical Business Export Coaching project. CBI prepares your company or cooperative with the skills and knowledge you need to enter the European market. The project includes:

  • Multiple-year one-on-one coaching for you and your staff on doing business in the European market. Highly-qualified CBI experts provide coaching. This is aimed at your specific needs ;
  • Training courses about specific subjects, such as Market Access Requirements, certification and developing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan;
  • Assistance with developing your Export Marketing Plan;
  • Assistance in deciding which certification suits your market entry and coaching to get it;
  • Assistance with carrying out your CSR Action Plan;
  • A one-week, fully-financed Market Orientation Mission to Europe (MoM);
  • Taking part in leading international trade fairs or other market entry activities, such as international buyers’ missions. CBI will help you prepare for these.

What do we expect from you?

CBI is looking for ambitious and highly motivated SMEs in the spice sector that are:

  • Fully committed to the project and the activities;
  • Taking part with the right people in all CBI visits, workshops and training sessions;
  • Eager to actively learn about the subjects discussed during individual support, workshops and training sessions;
  • Willing to inform CBI about the companies export, sustainability and inclusiveness progress. CBI treats this information as confidential;
  • Committed to investing in necessary adaptations to become successful in the European market and increase sustainability. This also includes adaptations to staff allocation. SMEs must also commit to paying costs not covered by CBI or partners related to market entry and sustainability activities. This includes costs for travelling, accommodation, sending samples, and so on;
  • Allowing CBI and its partners to use the company’s name, logo and achievements for promotion of the project;
  • Willing and able to reserve time and make monetary investments needed to take part in this project. This includes payment for certifications, visits to the EU, creating an export marketing plan, and a minimum of 3 days per month for taking part in training sessions, among other things;
  • Willing and able to set up farmer support programmes. This may involve hiring agronomists, supporting cooperatives or through certification, for example;
  • Willing to support the advancement of women engagement and gender equality in the sector.

All these agreements will be part of a commitment letter between CBI and your company.

Who can take part in the project?

Do you have a spice business in Ethiopia? Check whether you fit the profile:

  • Offer products that fall within the category spice;
  • SMEs, producer associations or cooperatives with up to 250 employees;
  • At least 51% locally owned in Ethiopia;
  • No joint venture with a company based in a country classified as low or middle-income or higher (for example, France);
  • Meets or willing to meet EU market requirements;
  • No licensing commitments that prohibit or limit export possibilities of products to the EU;
  • Competitive prices and enough production capacity;
  • Management which can communicate in English;
  • Willingness and capacity to invest in adaptations if and as required by the European Market. This could include adaptations of product assortment and production processes, for example.


  • The Ethiopian Spices, Aromatics, Herbs Products Growers and Processors Association (ESAHPGPA);
  • The Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce;
  • The Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority (ECTA);
  • GIZ.


For questions or more information, please contact us at ingredients@cbi.eu.

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Hugo Verhoeven Ask your question

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