Dararo Natural, Yirgacheffe Ethiopia - Filter Roast
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The Ethiopian coffee industry had been known for a long value chain and complex coffee export process that kept away small holder coffee farmers from negotiating on their product and participate on export process. The establishment of ECX in 2008 as a marketing and warehousing platform has been helpful for farmers in terms of providing market information on daily basis. However, its contribution to connect small holder coffee farmers with the international market has been highly insignificant. Very recently, Ethiopian small holder coffees farmers are being encouraged to participate in direct coffee trade relationship and thereby export their micro lots directly under their export licenses. Despite of such an encouraging policy, the production volume at small holder coffee farmer level makes the logistics and export processes very expensive and tedious. In particular, the process is economically less feasible and affordable for Gedeo coffee farmers who owns smaller coffee farms with an average production potential of 1.8 metric tons of clean green coffee. As an individual exporter at small holder coffee farmer level, there are problems of establishing quality control facility, marketing means, export warehouse and milling facilities. To solve all the problems, G Broad Trading PLC1 in collaboration with Counter Culture Coffee has registered farmers in Gedeo and organized them under different coffee business groups. So far, G Broad established two farmers’ business groups namely Jabanto and Dararo. These groups have a main focus in Gedeo zone. The groups outsourced all the activities and could export their coffees effectively in a highly organized approaches to quality control, marketing, warehousing, export milling, logistics and export documentation processes.
Dararo was established in 2019 with founding 25 small holder coffee farmers. Dararo has a main focus to supply high altitude coffee types from Yirgacheffe Woreda only. In 2018/19 cropping season, Dararo could produce a total of 96 metric tons of exportable clean coffee.
Both groups have been working to produce different coffee lots at Kebele (village or community), farm, and variety levels. Moreover, there is a plan to produce different processing sets. So far, the development of lots at community level and individual farm level was a great success. The groups strive forward to supply lots separated at variety level. Kudhume, Walisho and Dega are the three popular Gedeo local landraces that grows in Kochere and Yirgacheffe counties. Besides the local landraces, there are also improved coffee varieties developed by coffee breeders from the Ethiopian national coffee research institute based in Jimma.
The level of awareness within Jabanto and Dararo groups on coffee varieties, agronomic and post-harvest handling practices is well advanced. As a result, the level of coffee quality produced by the group was outstanding.
Before the coffee is placed on raised drying beds, cherries have to be floated in water to remove lighter cherries and insect damaged ones. After transferring the coffee on a raised bed, intensive hand sorting is carried out to sort out over and unripe cherries. Preparation of fully washed coffee through wet fermentation is a common practice in Jabanto. Fermentation time ranges from 36-48Hrs depending on the local atmospheric temperature. Soaking under water overnight for further cleaning is practiced heterogeneously within the group. For both processing methods, to maintain uniform drying among individual cherry, farmers manage drying thickness and target to attain bean moisture level between 9.0% and 10.5%.