The Ethiopia Konga cooperative is one in a network of cooperatives in the Yirgacheffe region. It belongs to the YCFCU (Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union). It has 2,400 smallholder members.
Ethiopian heirloom varietals are chosen from the forest and transplanted to small gardens. This adds a layer of selection to the incredible available among wild coffee plants found in Ethiopia.
Firstly, the farmers hand sort the coffee for unripe and overripe coffee cherries. Then the coffee is pulped and wet fermented for 24 to 36 hours. After some sorting based on density, the fermented coffee is washed in clean water before drying for one to two weeks on cloth drying beds. Finally, the workers cover the coffee with plastic at midday and at night. Once the coffee is dried it is screened for size 14 upwards.
As part of the cooperative’s mission to give back to its community. It recently renovated buildings at a primary school and outfitted it with new supplies.
More information about the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union
Firstly, all these cooperatives are located in Gedeo, an area found in the southern part of Ethiopia. This area is in a region that is famous for coffee growing in the country.
- Over 62,000 hectares of land is dedicated to coffee.
- On average these gardens produce 15,500 tons of green coffee each year.
The union has played a very important role to improve the livelihoods of all its members. Before the union was established, the cooperatives were not able to access finance. This was due to political interference. Thankfully now, the situation is very different, and the union actively tries to solve problems and help cooperatives become financially stable and sustainable.