Thanks to the new coffee regulations in Ethiopia, smallholder producers can now directly export their own coffee.
Previously, all private washing stations, except cooperatives, were mandated to sell their coffee to the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). Often, this caused a loss of traceability and price transparency. Now farmers are able to sell their coffee directly to importers and other buyers. With the regulations that have been steadily evolving over the past year and a half, smallholder farmers are able to export their coffee directly to buyers around the world. They can register with the Coffee and Tea Authority and be issued an SHF (Small Holder Farmer) number, which enables export-level traceability through the milling and export process. Even if a farmer consolidates this coffee in a container with other lots, this SHF number is present on all contracts and documents in order to ensure that they receive the full FOB price paid by their buyer.
These new laws are giving us a unique opportunity to increase our traceability all while supporting great coffee farming. We’ve partnered with farmers in Bashasha, a small town in the Agaro Zone of Western Ethiopia, to bring you a selection of mostly naturals with some washed coffees.
Agaro may be best known for producing some of the most well-known cooperative coffees of the past decade via the Duromina, Biftu Gudina, Yukro, and Hunda Oli cooperatives, but we’re excited to be partnering with these individual farmers to let you discover new and exciting flavors. The Bashasha coffees have demonstrated the delicate florals and crystal-clear acidity that Agaro (and now Bashasha) are best known for.
Great Coffee for a Great Cause
Not only are we excited to be offering Biya Faris’s fantastic coffee, but we’re also thrilled to announce that a portion of the profit from this coffee’s sales will go to help increase education and lifelong health for girls in Ethiopia through our partnership with the Girls Gotta Run Foundation.
GGRF offers girls and their families an alternative to early marriage by providing athletic scholarships paired with a holistic, life-scale approach for vulnerable girls ages 11 to 18. Each scholarship helps a girl attend secondary school for a year. It also provides healthcare for her and her mother as well as meals, school books, tutoring and access to sanitary facilities. The program helps girls acquire important life skills such as family planning, financial literacy, nutrition, healthy relationships and more.
Production and Processing
Cherry is handpicked and dried for an average of 15-20 days on drying beds. Before the change in laws, Biya sold their coffee as cherry to the Hunda Oli Cooperative, who then processed the coffee. In this new system, Biya processes his own coffee and garners a higher price for the final product. The 7 producers whose coffee we bought as individual microlots then formed a group and chose a representative as well as an exporter to provide the commercial and logistics services for them. The FOB price paid to Biya for this coffee was $2.70/lb.