In Ethiopia, the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU) is a farmer-owned cooperative with members from across the Oromia Regional State, which accounts for 65 percent of the country’s total coffee-growing land.
OCFCU was established in 1999, with 34 small cooperative as members, to facilitate the direct export of coffee produced by smallholder farmers. Today, it is the largest Fair Trade producer in Ethiopia, with 217 primary cooperatives representing more than 200,000 farmer households.
The group has an excellent reputation for supporting its members and their communities—and for having women in prominent positions throughout the organization. Its pays 70% of its net profit back to the cooperatives, which in turn pay 70 percent of their profit to the member farmers. Farmers benefit by being paid three times during each season, which allows for greater stability.
OCFCU has constructed schools, health centers and clean water supply stations, and it also maintains a bank where member can receive pre-harvest financing and other financial services.
The co-op and its general manager, Tadesse Meskela, have been internationally recognized for their implementation of farmer support programs and their advocacy for Fair Trade practices.
Cupping notes: Tomato, tropical, blueberry; juicy, rich body.