The Jimma region in southwestern Ethiopia is infamous for its low-quality production of the unwashed Djimma 5 grade. The grade is synonymous with poorly produced and processed natural coffee. A low quality that pairs with low selling prices for the coffee, both nationally and internationally. This all changed in 2011 when local producers formed a cooperative and purchased a wet mill with the support of Technoserve. This allowed them to produce washed coffees of high quality and receive much higher selling prices for the coffee.
The premiums from their high quality, high price coffees are also partly reinvested in the washing station infrastructure. The cooperative has a reserve fund and also purchased a second depulping machine to service more producers in an efficient way.
Biftu Gudina washing station follows the traditional Ethiopian methods for washed coffee but does this at a high level. “Biftu Gudina” literally means “a ray of development”, which nicely reflects what a properly managed cooperative and washing station can mean to a community! You can read more about the washing and drying process here.
For more info about coffee in Ethiopia, visit our Ethiopia origin page.