Co-Op: Shakisso, Dimtu Tero
Producteurs/Producers: 26 Fermiers/Farmers, Mancity Outgrowers
Altitude: 2150 M / masl
Notes: Clementine, earl grey, gâteau citron, cardamom
(IT'S ALSO ORGANIC!)
Not that we LOOK to sign Organic coffees but when we cup coffees and they "win the table", it's a nice little surprise.
In the past we've signed Nano Genji, which was great. We had Ana Sora, & that was nice too. I think this has been a huge surprise for us. Although Ethiopians tend to gain complexity & add to their fruit filled profiles as time progresses & the green has time to rest, this Shakisso already tastes super floral & sweet! We're very excited to see how it progresses in the months to come. We'll post updates to this as we cup it through the weeks.
A word on the Co-op by our pals in coffee, Crop2Cup
In addition to the outstanding quality we’ve consistently found from Dimtu’s outgrower groups, their support and consideration for smallholders is among the most impressive we have seen. Farmers who decide to work with Dimtu and deliver their cherry to one of their 8 collection stations receive extensive training by technicians who travel to provide hands-on education on best organic farming practices, sustainability, and quality training. Farmers are also given seedlings, organic fertilizer, and local indingeous shade tree seedlings as a larger effort to restore some local tree varieties that are in danger in their region.
Dimtu staff does an annual outgrower report where they check in on farmers to track and advise on things like pruning and weeding practices, intercropping, protection of shade trees, and erosion susceptibility. The report also includes organic inspections, historical and expected production, and a map of the location of each farm. With all this support, plus a very competitive premium over the local price for cherry, for many farmers in the area, choosing to work with Dimtu is an easy decision. The number of smallholders across all 8 of Dimtu’s collection stations has nearly doubled from 280 to 450 in just two years. Mancity is an area just east of Tero farm (one of Dimtu’s Estates) and the Dimtu collection station collects from 26 smallholder farmers in the area.
Of the over 100 million people in Ethiopia, almost 15 million rely on coffee for income. Coffee accounts for 60% of foreign income, and is about 40% of total country exports. For the scope (Africa’s largest producing country) and importance of the industry, there’s a surprising amount of consolidation. Things are constantly changing in Ethiopia but for the most part, buying happens in three ways, from an Exporter who buys off the ECX, from a Coop Union which markets coffees collected from member coops, or direct from a single producer or estate (as long as they have a farm over 2 hectares, they can export).
When we first arrived to Ethiopia in 2013, there were only 5 operating Unions organized by geography (Oromia, Sidama, Yirgacheffe, Limmu and Bench Maji). Oromia (extending as it does) is the largest, with 405 member coops, followed by Sidama Union, tiny in comparison with just over 50 coops represented. Yirg Union is smaller still. Coop Unions have a standard model in Ethiopia: buy coffee at the auction price, sell coffee to a buyer and collect 20% of the profit as service fees. From, there they split the remaining profit 70/30 with the coops they bought from. Unions are generally known in Ethiopia as FTO suppliers. Coffee that move through the ECX do not carry certifications, so the only place that you can get certified options are Unions and private farms.
Recently, a new Coop Union was established called Kata Maduga. It brought together coops in Jimma that were formed by Technoserve work, and previously managed by the Oromia Union. These coops felt that their qualities were exceptional and that they could better represent themselves. It is now in its 3rd harvest, is a healthy Union and growing. We’re big fans.