For the first time since banning the product in 2016, Britain allowed two containers of hot pepper from Ethiopia into their country. However samples from three hot pepper exporters were rejected at a Germany laboratory last week.
Hot pepper powder from Ethiopia was banned by the EU after being found to have unsafe levels of Aflatoxins and ochratoxin A.
On Thursday May 11 a company run by Ethiopian Diaspora which imports Ethiopian pepper from two local companies was allowed to distribute the product in Britain after laboratory tests determined the hot pepper powder met European Union standards.
Addisu Alemayehu, spice researcher and secretary general of Ethiopian Spice, Aromatic and Herbs Growers and Processors Association, confirmed that about USD 327,000 worth of pepper was distributed into the market as of Thursday.
Despite good news however pepper exporters were not so lucky in Germany.
“Their product sample was rejected by a German laboratory,” an exporter said.
Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin are a daunting challenge for the Ethiopian hot pepper business, it is the spice Ethiopia exports the most.
A delegation accompanying Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn during his visit to London, met with representatives of the European Union to talk about the issue. The Ethiopian Embassy in London has been working hard to alleviate the situation by collaborating with importers based in Britain.
Sources said that the embassy has also facilitated a meeting with EU representatives to talk about the hot pepper issue. Capital was unable to confirm if the discussions were held by the time it went to press.