Launched in 2008, the ECX allows entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, including small scale farmers, to access real time eliable price information and consistent quality standards data.
The ECX makes information accessible via SMS text messages, an interactive telephone hotline, tickers using electronic displays at specific regional sites, the EXC.com website, and TV, radio, and newspaper dissemination in four languages.
Before the launch of the ECX in 2008, farmers struggled to find market price information, and often received prices far below market value – estimated on average to be just 35-38 percent of export price – and sometimes suffered serious losses when traders reneged on payment. The ECX aims to create transparent quality standards, allowing farmers to increase product quality and thereby the price they obtain. As a result, in the first year and a half of coffee trading the Exchange saw the volume of highest grade coffee triple.