Addis Ababa, October 16, 2020 – Today, Ethiopian Airlines and the United States announced a
new partnership agreement that will enable the nation’s flagship carrier to source locally grown
produce and ingredients for preparing in-flight meals for global passengers.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam and U.S. Ambassador Michael
Raynor signed a memorandum of understanding in which the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) will provide Ethiopian farmers and food producers technical assistance
and access to financing in order to ensure they are able to meet the airlines’ standards of quality
and volume to serve its customers. These new business linkages will help farmers and local
agribusinesses reach a prominent new market and increase their revenue streams – with annual
sales as high as $10 million in total – while providing Ethiopian Airlines farm-fresh ingredients
sourced directly from Ethiopia, reducing the need for foreign suppliers’ processed foods for their
USAID support will help Ethiopian Airlines identify local suppliers for the list of catering
materials the airline might potentially require, as well as provide support to farmer cooperative
unions, youth groups, women groups and other local agriculture businesses to enable them to
meet production requirements. A U.S. government loan facility also will expand access to
financing for local companies, farmer cooperative unions, and others to expand their operations
as needed to meet the Ethiopian Airlines quality and supply demands.
“We deeply value our relationship with USAID and extend our appreciation to USAID for all the support.
The new partnership consolidates our effort to continue providing high-quality inflight meals to global
passengers while intensifying our effort in creating an enabling environment for local farmers across the
value chain. We would like to maintain our partnership with USAID on a range of spheres,” said Mr.
“The partnership we’re launching today demonstrates what’s achievable when prominent businesses like
Ethiopian Airlines invest in other Ethiopian businesses and individuals, resulting in truly home-grown
economic success that has the potential to be a model for other sectors,” said Ambassador Raynor.
This partnership agreement will run through December 2022 and will help pave the way for Ethiopian
Airlines and local producers and farmers groups to continue these supply linkages and partnerships into