Established in 1999 and renewed in 2002, Hana Bosoke farmers work together to distribute farm inputs and provide social services to its members. Hana Bosoke is known to be the first coffee producing area of its woreda. Coffee serves as the main source of income for these farmers as they dedicate much of their attention to the crop. In addition to coffee, farmers often cultivate food crops such as maize, rear animals, and produce honey from the indigenous honeybees. The farmers use their income for school, clothing, traditional ceremonies, and purchasing farm inputs. Hana Bosoke cooperative can be found in southwest Ethiopia’s Oromia state, Ilubabour zone, Beddele woreda, and Gema Gemeda kebele. It is 502 km from Addis Ababa and 22 km from Beddele. The site can be accessed all year long. The surrounding area is highland with hills and plain farming areas surrounded by forest. The coffee catchment areas can be found at 1,900m and 80% of the area is forest where hunting and tree cutting is prohibited in order to preserve the environment. Coffee covers over 5,400 ha of the land around the cooperative. These farmers also grow maize, wheat, barley, pea, and beans for consumption. TechnoServe’s Coffee Initiative has supported the Hana Bosoke cooperative since 2010. By receiving business advice and technical support, these farmers have been able to increase production and improve the quality of their coffee. With these advancements, farmers are able to raise their standard of living and work themselves out of poverty. TechnoServe collaborates with farmers and acts to enhance their market chain through their service provider, the Oromia union, also connecting them to international specialty coffee buyers. Hana Bosoke farmers fulfilled TechnoServe selection criteria and were able to construct and operate a wet mill in 2010. Prior to the introduction of a wet mill, Hana Bosoke sold their for decreased prices determined by private traders. In 2009, the average price for coffee was 3 birr/kg for red cherry. Due to the low prices, farmers were thus unable to benefit from coffee farming. Wet mill operation began in 2010 and is expected to produce a 75% overall boost in farmer income. The cooperative built a small mill with a 90-ton volume capacity. Their coffee also received a cupping result of 86, a CPQI of 14, and a 5 to 1 cherry to parchment ratio. Because of these advancements, farmers were able to receive 8 birr/kg. After repaying their loan, the cooperative has made over 350,000 birr in profit. Over 5,400 ha are dedicated to coffee plantation, and the average coffee holding per farmer is 1.5 ha. In 2010, the mill processed 74,508 kg of red cherry. The wet is at an altitude of 1,923 m. Hana Bosoke farmers practice sustainable agronomy to that preserve their land while increasing production. Farmers utilize natural tree shade, mulch, and practice agroforestry strategies such as intercropping and planting new seedlings. The farmers also do not use agrochemicals, as their coffee is completely organic. The wet mill receives water from a perennial river. The pulp byproduct created during processing is used to prepare compost in a dug pit or covered by soil above ground. The excess water is treated in a dug out lagoon and evaporation storage pit. 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. There are 2,325 farmers in the area and the cooperative currently has 510 members.
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.