The Duromina cooperative was registered on April 13th, 2010 with 113 initial members. The name Duromina means, “improve their lives” in Affan Oromo language. The cooperative consists of one kebele called Boto that has roughly 1,660 residents. Farmers of Duromina grow coffee to generate most of their income, and they also cultivate various food crops and raise animals to further supplement that income. The farmers use their income for schooling, farming, and expanding their coffee farm. Duromina farmers place emphasis on cooperation and helping others, as they educated other farmers in farming practices that they found useful. Duromina coffee was voted the best in all of Africa in 2011. Duromina is found in southwest Ethiopia’s Oromia state, Jimma zone, and Gomma woreda. It is 65 km from the town of Jimma, and 25 km from the closest major town of Agaro. A main road 20 km away can access the site. The area is characterized by hills and farming plains. It is surrounded by jangles forest, and the coffee catchment area is found between 1,800 and 1,920 m altitude. Of the member’s area roughly 730 ha are dedicated to coffee cultivation. Maize and teff serve as the area’s other major crops. Around the cooperative site roughly 50,000ha are occupied by coffee. Duromina began receiving support from TechnoServe in 2010. They are given technical support and business advice in order to better their business practices and increase production and coffee quality. These tools allow Duromina farmers produce high quality coffee and earn larger incomes in order to fight off the conditions of poverty. TechnoServe directly works with farmers to better their market chain through their service provider, the Oromia Union, and connect them with international buyers. Duromina was able to being construction and operation of a wet mill in 2010 and were voted the best coffee in all of Africa in 2011. Before Duromina 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 wouldn’t benefit from coffee. In 2008/2009, the average prices were 3 birr/kg for red cherry and 6.75 birr/kg for dry cherry. Wet mill operation began in 2010 and is expected to produce a 50% overall boost in farmer income. The cooperative built the mill with local resources and has paid off their entire loan and already made profit. The coffee now sells for roughly 14 birr/ kg in markets. The coffee was voted #1 in all of Africa and received a cupping score of 91.92 points, a CPQI of 14.5, and a cherry to parchment ratio of 4.53. With roughly 730 ha dedicated to coffee, the wet mill processed 330,000kg of red cherry coffee. Even more red cherry was processed in other sites. 908 green coffee bags were produced in 2010. The wet mill site is located at an altitude of 1,955m. Farmers cultivate their coffee in small homesteads and on hillsides under the shade of dense canopies provided by indigenous Acacia trees. There is no use of agrochemicals for their coffee, making it completely natural. The wet mill receives water primarily from a nearby uncontaminated river by gravity. Waste water is treated through planted vetiver grass and 2 big dugout lagoons. The pulp created during processing is mixed with soil to create compost and be used as fertilizer. The wet mill has hired an administrative staff of a manager, accountant, storekeeper, and guards, along with hired daily laborers. The site also has a clean water supply and pit latrines available for workers. Duromina has grown to include over 130 farmers of the 1,600 in the area that sell to the wet mill. The cooperative has fixed assets of a warehouse, office, machine, 1.5 ha, and equipment.
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.