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Fair Trade Coffee from Ethiopia
The landlocked nation of Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa, and the 27th largest country in the world. Ethiopia borders Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and the Sudan. As a multiethnic state Ethiopia is home to more than 80 ethnic language groups. The climate can be divided into a tropical hot zone, a warm temperate zone and a cool zone, and is thus rather diverse.
Ethiopia, however, is also repeatedly afflicted by extreme weather conditions. Heavy rainfall and prolonged droughts are common and trigger famine and floods. Global warming is predicted to accelerate and intensify these conditions, with significant consequences for population and environment. Therefore, it is important to have a competent local partner who cares about the needs and concerns of the individual coffee farmers and communities.
According to legend, an Ethiopian goatherd accidently discovered the miraculous effects of coffee around the 9th century. Regardless of what actually happened, Ethiopia is known to world as the cradle of coffee: where the bean first rose to prominence, and from humble beginnings has spread across the globe.
On average, 75% of the Ethiopian household income is generated by coffee and this African country remains one of the largest coffee exporters worldwide. Much of the harvest comes from natural forest gardens. While sun-dried coffee is grown primarily in the mountainous regions east of the capital Addis Abeda, washed coffee often comes from the highlands south-west of Addis Abeda.
The center of Fair Trade coffee in Ethiopia is in the southern mountains and valleys of the coffee region of Sidamo. In Sidamo the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, an association of 39 Fair Trade certified organizations, has built a network for local coffee farmers.
Coffee from individual Fair Trade farmers is collected and washed on the spot or dried. The SCFCU acts as a quality monitoring body throughout the process. After being washed or dried the coffee is prepared for sale in a camp near Addis Abeda. The separation of Fair Trade coffee and conventionally traded coffee is thoroughly controlled. The traceability of Fair Trade coffee is given at any time.
Fair Trade Projects
70% of the income of Fair Trade products will be reinvested in the respective communities. 30% are saved as reserves. How exactly the reserves will be spent is a matter of democracy. Members of the cooperative union are equally entitled to vote for projects including education, infrastructure, environment, or production and quality optimization.
Building schools and granting scholarships allows many children access to education and thus the chance for a better life. For example, the construction of a new school in the Dara district expanded educational opportunities for over 1,200 students.
Many organizations use the reserves to build new roads, offices and warehouses. In particular, the expansion and accessibility of electrical power has been improved and developed thanks to Fair Trade. More than 5000 people have access to the power supply system built by the SCFCU.
The investment in environmentally-friendly pulping machines allows for better control of production, and thus supports an energy and resource-conscious working process.
Production and Quality Optimization
The SCFCU provides all managers and producers with professional training to further develop their skills. Similar training is offered in the field of quality control, and individual members are appointed inspectors to monitor the production processes within the various regions.
Gourmesso Fair Trade Coffee
Gourmesso Fair Trade coffee from Ethiopia supports the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union and its projects. In addition to enjoying the perfect coffee moment, just by purchasing coffee like the Etiopia Blend Forte you help support related reforms and progresses in the different regions of origin. Try for yourself and enjoy the perfect espresso from the birthplace of coffee. In addition to Fair Trade coffee from Ethiopia you will also find many other Fair Trade certified coffees that will delight you in our Gourmesso Online Shop.