SCFCUSidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union
Established in 2001
Members: 45 cooperatives totaling 87,000 members
Region: Sidama (southwest Ethiopia)
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and yet the fourth poorest country in the world. Coffee farmers live a very traditional lifestyle. Farming less than 5 acres and living in stick houses, electricity, running water and indoor plumbing are rare in rural areas.
Located in the Sidama region of southern Ethiopia, SCFCU began representing small-scale farmers in 2001 and has since grown to become the second largest coffee producing cooperative union in Ethiopia. The majority of its member coops are organic and Fair Trade certified and nearly all their coffee is grown in the shade of diverse, indigenous trees. Approximately 5,000 tons of sidamo coffee is produced per year, 95% of which is washed.
Harvest time occurs between September to December depending on the coffee's altitude and rainfall. After the families harvest the cherries, they sell them to the primary cooperatives for wet processing. There are approximately 220 wet processing centers, 92 of which are owned by members of the coops. The dried parchment is sthen stored in a warehouse until delivery to the central market in Addis Ababa where the husk is removed and the clean beans are packaged for export.
Cooperative Coffees and Cafe Campesino began importing unwashed Sidama coffee directly from Sidama Union in 2009.
View photos from Sidama Union at Cooperative Coffees website: SCFCU photo gallery