Registered in 1970 by farmers producing natural and organic specialty coffee. Kundi Gaggi farmers coffee crop serves as their primary source of income. They also grow food crops such as maize, sorgum, teff, wheat, and barley, along with various fruits for domestic consumption. Many farmers also rear animals to further supplement their crop income. Most farmers live in circular thatch grass roof homes found in the midst of beautiful forests devoid of electricity and clean water sources. Kundi Gaggi cooperative is located in southwest Ethiopia’s Oromia state, Ilubabour zone, and Gore woreda. The site is 282 km from a TechnoServe office in Jimma and 22 km from the zonal town of Mettu. The site can be accessed easily during the dry season and with some difficulty during rainy periods by a main road 4 km away. The area surrounding the site is undulating with coffee catchment areas between 1,700 and 2,200m altitude and a wet mill processing site at 1,870m. The area has a clay loam soil type. 1,336 ha are dedicated to coffee plantation, with 98 ha for plantation coffee and 1,238 ha for forest coffee. Wetland covers 272 ha, forest spans 21 ha, grazing land covers 97 ha, and an additional 1,689 ha are dedicated to various food crops. TechnoServe’s Coffee Initiative supports the Kundi Gaggi cooperative. 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, Kundi Gaggi farmers are able to raise their standard of living and fight the conditions of poverty. TechnoServe collaborates with farmers and acts to enhance the Kundi Gaggi market chain through their service provider, the Oromia union, and also connects them to international specialty coffee buyers. Kundi Gaggi farmers fulfilled TechnoServe selection criteria and were able to construct and operate a brand new wet mill in 2010. The cooperative’s previous wet mill had a limited capacity and poorly processed the coffee. Farmers would then sell their dry cherry in local markets at prices determined by local traders. In 2008-2009, the farmers received 2-3 birr/kg for red cherry. Operation of the new wet mill began in 2010 and is expected to produce a 50% overall boost in farmer income. There are over 900 farmers within the wet mill’s kebele. Farmers cultivate their coffee under the natural shade of indigenous trees. The coffee received a cupping result of 85, a CPQI of 14, and a 5 to 1 cherry to parchment ratio. 1,336 ha are dedicated to coffee in the area. The average homestead holds 1.5 ha of coffee. In 2010, the wet mill processed 147,860 kg of red cherry in their 70-day processing season. Kundi Gaggi 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. These farmers don’t use any agrochemicals on their coffee and crops. 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. The service cooperative has 392 members and is increasingly steadily. There are currently 516 potential new members. The cooperative has fixed assets reaching 974,000 ETB including land, buildings, machine, and other assets.
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.