ETHIOPIA

Duromina Cooperative G2 2020 – 1

$5.72$7.29 Per Pound

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Additional information

Country

Continent

Region

Agaro

Community Name

Duromina Cooperative

Processing Method

Arrival Date

July 2020

Cupping Notes Upon Arrival

dried blackberry, grape candy, Mulled wine, Plum jam, vanilla spice

Elevation

1980 – 2100 MASL

Varietals

Heirloom

Flavor Profile

Berry, Best for Acidity, Winey

Description

Established in 2010, ‘Duromina’ means ‘become wealthy’, and this is a smallholder cooperative who knows how to share the wealth. First focusing on quality improvements, which earned them a name, then on an organic certification for additional premiums, the cooperative is now focusing on community by building schools, roads, connections for electricity and safe drinking water.

In 2009 Technoserve began working in Ethiopia, on a two-fold mission to (1) improve the value (quality) of coffees produced and (2) to make sure the farmers of that coffee were receiving a higher percentage of the value they were creating. Since 2009, 60+ washing stations have been created, alongside the ongoing field-work and support of Technoserve’s Jimma staff. The approach has been successful by all accounts. Farmers own their own equipment (financed and paid down over time), they negotiate their selling prices, and pay a small commission for processing and export (5% commission + costs). With the quality support and feedback from the Technoserve cuppers in Jimma, they grow better coffee and keep more of the value of that coffee.

This was the work that attracted us to Western Ethiopia and that introduced us to Moata (then a Field Trainer and QC manager for TNS). We still believe it was some of the most effective coffee work we’ve seen. In 2015 the funding for this work ended and the project came to a conclusion. While many of the washing stations that were created had attracted private specialty buyers – the coops were being mismanaged by the Oromia Union, who was only begrudgingly following through on the original agreement it struck with these new businesses. The result was that there was great coffee coming from these coops (Biftu, Duromina, Yukro, Nano Challa) but they were very hard for buyers to get (Ormoia Union was not responsive), often delayed in milling and shipping, and the coops themselves were not at the table to negotiate their own deals. The following year, they left Oromia Union, and founded the Kata Maduga Union, which was anchored by these very successful coops.

Certainly, this was a delicate time and a real test. These farmers were at the top of their game from a processing point of view, but running an exporter is a different ball game altogether. Furthermore, if this new Union failed, the 90 million dollar grant and almost a decade worth of work, might be materially harmed, then disappear. It didn’t fail. It’s grown over the years, it published its second payments, it has heavily reinvested in the communities that it represents and is managed by farmers and coop leaders from the area who serve with integrity.

Kata Maduga and the coops it represents are a textbook illustration of smallholder success in specialty. Every year we wish we could find more customers for these delicate, sweet cups – knowing the rich legacy and courageous past of these producers who took their futures into their own hands.

Maps Coming Soon