Here’s a story about the farmers we support at the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Union cooperative in Ethiopia, and how they decided to invest their Premium.
Representing over 46,000 farmers, the Yirgacheffe cooperative is in the Gedeo Zone of Southern Ethiopia. It produces around 20,000 metric tons of washed and sun-dried coffee every year in a coffee garden production system grown under shade near the farmers’ homes.
Their Fairtrade and organic coffee is grown using the indigenous knowledge of Gedeo people’s farming practices of agroforestry, which are on the verge of being added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
While rates of primary school enrolment have improved remarkably in the last two decades in Ethiopia, many do not complete their education, with just over half making it past Grade 8.
Yirgacheffe is trying to address this by using Fairtrade Premium funds to operate the Yirgacheffe Union Academy for young people in the Dilla area.
Caption: Outside Yirgacheffe Union Academy
The Fairtrade Premium is an extra sum of money that goes back to the Fairtrade communities in our supply chain for them to spend where they see fit. Fairtrade producers/farmers and workers decide on how to spend the money so they are serving the most urgent needs of their community and the Fairtrade
Standards guide the decision-making, so that projects are good for people and the planet.
The Premium is 20 US cents per pound of coffee, of which at least one quarter must be spent to improve coffee quality.
Take a look at the video below put together by the co-op, showing the crop to cup journey from the beans by the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Union cooperative.
“We choose to be Fairtrade certified because we see the way it improves the lives of the farmers and workers involved in making the coffee we roast.”
Check out Jasper and Fairtrade for Jasper’s range of Fairtrade coffees and more Fairtrade stories from around the world.