The Jawi cooperative was first established on March 22nd, 2007 with an initial 131 members. These farmers grow coffee in the deep shade of family owned plots found in the Ethiopian highlands. They are located near the birthplace of Coffee Arabica, and strive to produce high quality crops. In addition to coffee, they also grow teff, maize, sorghum, vegetables, and various fruits for domestic consumption. Many families also rear a goat, cow, sheep, oxen, and chicken to supplement their income from coffee. Most of these farmers live in circular thatch houses without running water or electricity. Jawi can be found in southwest Ethiopia’s Oromia state, Jimma zone, and Gumay woreda. The cooperative site is located 71km from the town of Jimma and 26 km from the nearest town of Agaro. Coffee cultivation areas can be found between 1,500 and 1,900m altitude. The area dedicates over 20,000ha to coffee cultivation. Other crops such as maize and teff occupy other areas. The Jawi cooperative began receiving support from TechnoServe’s Coffee Initiative in 2009. The farmers receive technical support and business advice so they can increase their production and improve their coffee quality. These advancements have helped Jawi farmers earn increased incomes and fight off poverty through sustainable business. TechnoServe directly works with farmers to better their market chain through their service provider, the Oromia Union, and connect them with international buyers. In 2010, Jawi farmers fulfilled TechnoServe selection criteria and were able to construct and operate a wet mill. Before the Jawi cooperative acquired a wet mill farmers would sell their coffee as dry cherry in local markets. They would receive low prices determined by private traders and in turn could not better their livelihoods from coffee production. Wet mill operation began in 2009 with a machine capacity of 1,100 kg/hour. With increasing membership and strong leadership, the cooperative was able to produce high quality specialty coffee. The coffee earned a cupping score of 87 points, a CPQI of 14, and has a cherry to parchment ratio of 4.4. In 2010, the cooperative processed 82,579 kg of red cherry coffee and produced an estimated 245 green coffee bags. Jawi farmers prune, use natural compost, weed, plant varietals, and practice terracing in order to keep their crops healthy. There is also no use of agrochemicals by these farmers, making the coffee completely organic. The wet mill receives its water from an uncontaminated perennial river. Pulp byproduct is used in composting and wastewater is filtered by strips of vetiver grass and then evaporated in a lagoon area. Permanent workers include accountants, storekeepers, and guards. During processing season, the cooperative hires daily laborers that work on drying tables along with nighttime workers. The Jawi cooperative has grown to include over 220 members since its registration in 2007.
Transparency is an important driver of efficiency and good governance at cooperatively-owned coffee wet mills and can lead to higher farm-gate prices. Coffeetransparency.com collates the most important production and financial information from participating wet mill businesses - from export revenues to incomes -and organizes this information into a two-page transparency sheet. The left-hand numbers are key indicators of production efficiency and farmer income for the most recently completed coffee season.
Adopting business practices that treat workers and suppliers ethically and fairly, protect the environment, and promote economic transparency will build the foundation for a sustainable business. Participating wet mills and supplying farmers are trained and audited on a set of sustainability standards that focus on 5 categories – social responsibility & ethics, occupational health & safety, environmental responsibility, economic transparency and production & farm management. The numbers on the left track compliance against best practices in each category from the most recently completed sustainability audit.