Level Ground purchases coffee from the Fero Co-op of the Sidama Coffee Farmers’ Union. The co-op has approximately 3000 member farmers. The co-op has 3 washing stations several km apart, and 11 buying posts for purchase of cherries. All of the cherries are processed at the three co-op washing stations. Processed coffee is sent via truck to Addis for milling and grading, and then is sent to the port of Djibouti, which is a 600 km drive from Addis.
Coffee is the primary source of income for the people in Yrgalem. Fero Co-op farmers receive great prices for their coffee because it is considered among the best in the world.
Trading Partner: Fero Co-op, Sidama Coffee Farmers Co-op
Fero Co-op LOCATION:
Farmer Profile: Farmers' plots are small, often covering less than two acres. Coffee trees are often very old - more than 20 years - and in severe need of pruning. Some coffee trees are 4+ metres tall. It's common for trees to often produce only 2-3kg of red cherries per tree. Coffee is the main source (905) of income for farmers. Other products they grow include vegetables, fruit and cereal grains. These products are grown interspersed the coffee plot.
Direct Fair Trade Premiums: The co-op invests Direct Fair Trade Premiums in extra payment to farmers and capacity building.