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Ethiopian Bench Maji Washed Arabica Green Coffee Beans (1kg)

Ethiopian Bench Maji Washed Arabica Green Coffee Beans (1kg)

Regular price £11.99 Zero Vat
Our Product Code: GRETHGUT
The telephone order Price is
We currently have 38 in stock.

Producer Country Region  Sheko Cooperative
Ethiopia
South Nations, Nationalities & Peoples’ regional state, Bench Maji Zone,
Sheko Woreda
Number of member farmers 166 (small holder farmers)
Altitude500 - 2200 masl
VarietiesBench Maji Forest, Kaffa, Djimmah, Limmu

Harvest September - December

Process Washed and Dry processed

Process Cup profile Full bodied with good acidity, Spicy and well-balanced, fragrant, with floral notes Certificates , Rainforest Alliance & UTZ

 

Sheko Cooperative

Sheko Cooperative is one of 65 Cooperatives under Bench Maji Forest Coffee Producer Farmers Cooperative Union Ltd (BMFCU) and one of the 14 Founding Members of the Union in 2005.

They are in Bench Maji Zone, Sheko Woreda (district) and the washing station is within Central Sheko (Sheko Town administration). Sheko Cooperative is also known as Mehal Sheko Cooperative which means Central Sheko Cooperative.

Sheko tribes are indigenous to the area, their ancestors have lived in and around the forests containing coffee plants for centuries. In Sheko culture, cutting down a big tree is believed to be as serious as killing a person. It is because of this traditional way of thinking that the Sheko rainforest still looks as it did in the 16th century. Some of the trees are hundreds of years old and are still shading the coffee to this day, creating the perfect natural habitat for the coffee trees.

Since the late 1990s, farmers from Northern Ethiopia have been attracted to
the forest and fertile soils of Bench Maji zone and Sheko Woreda. Because of this migration, the rainforest had started to become threatened and at risk from deforestation. However, the establishment of Bench Maji Forest Coffee Union (BMFCU) and the intervention of different stake holders and NGOs such as
WCC-PFM has protected the existing environment by letting the farmers benefit from their coffee and therefore they have a reason to preserve the forest.

Farmers are very motivated, and their commitment to preserve the forest and biodiversity has increased because of the premium that they receive from selling certified coffees from this land.

Bench Maji continues to improve and grow each year. Many people have not yet heard of Bench Maji which was often sold as Limu – but now they have a new modern logo and are pushing their coffee every day, it will soon be as famous Yirgacheffe, Sidamo and Limu (we hope!).

Visiting a newly established Union is an insightful experience as their approach to tasks are always different. A great example of this is how Bench Maji Union uses a local radio station to communicate with farmers on a weekly basis. On the “show” there is a Q&A on environmental and social issues, which supports and motivates farmers to produces the best possible coffee

A Different Approach

Ethiopia has a huge deforestation problem, 80 – 90% of the forest has diminished in the last 400 years. Bench Maji Union strives to maintain the forest and protect the coffee gene pool which is found there.

Participatory Forest Management (PFM) and Bench Maji Union aims to empower communities by giving them clear rights to the forest and its resources, while in return engaging communities to take responsibility for managing the forest. The government becomes the monitor of the forest, rather than the protector. PFM takes an economic view of forests and recognises that they are a renewable resource whose products can be harvested sustainably while addressing specific biodiversity goals.

The local government has helped the Union grow by providing land for processing and for their primary office. Following a conversation with Ato Wondimu Gebre Dikubab, the Bench Maji zonal Chief Administrator (head of the zone), he mentioned that they struggled to aid a large proportion of farmers, but with the help of the union a large amount of small holder farmers can now benefit.


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Full member of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe, company director Kenneth Cooper is an accredited UK Barist Championship judge Registered Fairtrade Coffee Beans Distributor Supplier of Rain Forest Alliance Certified Products Member of the Federation of Small Business Safe Online Shopping Directory UK Shops

Registered Fairtrade Distributor FFdistp0013 -www.fairtrade.org.uk


Company Registration Number 4743172