The DST approach relies on:
- Quality certification of coffees produced by primary cooperatives, cooperative unions, or commercial growers, using the ECX Specialty Q Arrival grading system;
- Identity-preserved inventory management of these coffees;
- Price discovery through a monthly DST bidding session between qualified growers and pre-registered international buyers, on a lot by lot basis;
- Engagement of export service providers responsible for export preparation and exporting services on behalf of the grower; and,
- Market data dissemination of prices and volumes and contract performance to provide transparency to all.
DST heralds a new era for Ethiopian specialty coffee. DST is about empowerment and sustainability, based on transparency, partnership, and reliability. DST combines traceability to the smallest unit of production, the Ethiopian smallholder coffee farmer, to the big business of the global supply chain where reliability and quality and certification are the key drivers. DST offers a win-win-win in three dimensions: a win for farmers who can reach the marketplace directly, a win for buyers who seek sustainable ways to source high-quality supply, and a win for the market, where integrity of the product and the transaction is maintained.
The first DST bidding session will take place February 17, 2010 in Addis Ababa. A catalog of coffees available for sale shall be posted on the ECX website on January 28, 2010 along with an order form to request samples on a purchased basis (USD 10 per 250 grams, reimbursable to the producer).