Ethiopia holds a unique and prestigious position in the global coffee landscape. As the birthplace of Coffea arabica, it holds a special place in the hearts of coffee connoisseurs around the world. The country is home to nearly one-fifth of all coffee farms, underscoring its substantial contribution to the global coffee supply. Beyond its agricultural significance, coffee is a cornerstone of Ethiopia's economy, accounting for 24% of the nation's export income. This vital economic role highlights the interdependence between Ethiopia's coffee industry and its broader economic health.

Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative

Coffee Background: 
The Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia, the country's largest region, is home to more than 35 million people and spans over 110,000 square miles. It is a region rich in coffee-growing territories, with 65% of Ethiopia's coffee cultivation happening here in the noteworthy coffee regions of Jimma, Illubabor, Harar, Arsi, and the Guji Zone. The Oromia have consolidated resources and enhanced their position in the global coffee market by forming the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, (OCFCU), to ensure that premiums from coffee exports directly benefit farmers, fund organic farming initiatives, provide equipment for processing mills, and support food security programs. Additionally, OCFCU prioritizes quality control through its central cupping lab, and promotes sustainability through organic certification. They also offer financial services like pre-harvest financing and crop insurance through the Cooperative Bank of Oromia for rural farmers who historically lacked access to such resources. 

In 2002,  OCFCU became Fair Trade and Organic certified, marking a significant milestone in ethical and sustainable coffee production. Through these certifications, OCFCU has become one of the world's largest suppliers of Fair Trade coffee, emphasizing fair prices and practices that benefit both farmers and the environment. By centralizing resources, supporting organic farming, ensuring fair prices, and providing essential services, OCFCU plays a pivotal role in improving the livelihoods of coffee farmers in the Oromia region, contributing to a more sustainable and equitable coffee industry.

Hafursa Cooperative

Coffee Background:
The Hafursa Cooperative of family-owned farms is located in the renowned coffee region of Yirgacheffe within the Gedeo Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region of Ethiopia. Established in 1975, the Hafursa Cooperative has a robust membership of approximately 955 farmers. These dedicated individuals cultivate their coffee on small plots of land, typically less than 1.5 hectares. Their farming practices are both sustainable and environmentally friendly, as they use shaded plots intercropped with banana trees and other nitrogen-fixing plants to enrich the soil and maintain ecological balance.

In 2002, the Hafursa Cooperative became a member of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU). The YCFCU serves as an umbrella organization designed to support sustainable coffee production among cooperatives in the Gedeo ethnic region. This union, established in the same year, enhances the cooperative's ability to maintain a steady, high-quality coffee supply while ensuring fair trade practices and better livelihoods for its farmers. The YCFCU is comprised of twenty-six other cooperatives, collectively representing over 45,000 members. This wide network not only fosters a sense of community but also strengthens the economic and social fabric of the region.