New Single-Farmer Project in Ethiopia

Introducing our new, single-farmer project in Ethiopia, sourced for the first time for the 2024 harvest. We have incoming, traceable coffees on the way, expected to land in our EU warehouse by the end of July or beginning of August.

Pictured from left to right in Addis Ababa: 1. Abraham, son of producer Tigest Wako, 2. Yisak, son of producer Adanech Gemede Bune, 3. Producer Teku Shequ Kurse, 4. Girum, son of producer Tsegaye H Mariam, 5. Balkew Tadesse, exporter & project facilitator for single-farmers, 6. Producer Ayele Begashaw, 7. Ashenafi, son of producer Getaneh Endale, 8. Bezawit Sisay, documentation & logistics coordinator for exporting.

The Challenge

In 2019, the Ethiopian government started giving export licences to individual farmers with more than 2 hectares of land. Even though many farmers got these licences, they have a hard time finding buyers for their coffee and handling the complicated logistics and paperwork needed for exporting.

Plus, most farmers have not been given access to information regarding what happens to their cherries after they are delivered. Because of these challenges, these farmers stopped trying to export directly and sell their coffee to established exporters instead, losing out on an opportunity.

The Project

Through our initiative, we purchase coffee directly from Ethiopian farmers in Yirgacheffe, allowing them to act as the exporters. Our goal is to create a market for their coffee, offering higher premiums for their high-quality production while maintaining complete transparency.

We openly share all aspects of the supply chain that farmers didn’t have access to before: the purchase price, the selling price, and the final destination of their coffee. The importance of this structure is we know how much the farmer is being paid, as we can deposit all payments directly into the account of each farmer.

This project is still at its early stages, as this is the first year we’ve sourced these coffees. The aim is to return to the same farmers year after year, to help them make their quality investments profitable and rewarding — all while bridging the information gap.

By supporting these farmers, sharing information, quality protocols, and marketing their products, our goal is to give them direct access to the supply chain. By doing so, we hope to impact market standards long-term, so that farmers do not have to solely rely on external exporters to sell their coffee. Our objective down the line is to make this project scalable so that it can be replicated in other regions, giving more farmers the opportunity to export directly.

Meet The Producers

Tigest Wako Bire, Ayele Begshaw Yemiru, Getaneh Endale Mengesha

Tigest Wako Bire

Tigest grows coffee on her 7.4-hectare farm in Yirgacheffe at 1962 masl. Inspired by the growth of specialty coffee in Ethiopia, she began her own farm and now produces 119 quintals annually. She’s been a top 150 candidate in the Cup of Excellence twice.

Ayele Begshaw Yemiru

Ayele is a coffee grower and a leader in his community in Aricha, Yirgacheffe. He owns a 4.25-hectare farm perched at 1930 masl. Since 2011, he has expanded his farm, producing 69 quintals annually.

“As a coffee producer, I face so many challenges trying to enter the market, so I am really glad to have the opportunity to export for myself now”, he mentions.

Getaneh Endale Mengesha

Getaneh, a second-generation farmer in Yirgacheffe, cultivates coffee on his 3.9-hectare farm at 2019 masl. Since 2011, he has focused on increasing productivity and quality. He produced 51 quintals last year and dreams of adding a lodge for tourists and buyers to his farm.

Adanech Gemede Bune

Adanech is a farmer in Yirgacheffe. Her farm, situated at 2022 masl, covers 6.46 hectares. Last year, her dedication resulted in an impressive annual production of 103 quintals. Adanech aims to increase her farm’s productivity and feels immense pride knowing her coffee contributes significantly to the local economy.

Teku Shequ Kurse

In the kebele of Oru Batala, Teku Shequ has cultivated coffee for more than 30 years on the family farm, where they have traditionally worked with premium varieties. His farm area spans 5.03 hectares, and it sits at 2130 masl. When asked about his future goals, Teku mentions he would like to expand his farms and increase productivity.

Adanech Gemede Bune, Teku Shequ Kurse
Written by
Delia Iliopoulou Friis
Published on
June 5, 2024

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