For the second harvest in a row, we’re pleased to feature a coffee from Ethiopian coffee producer, Dawit Dagiso, sourced through our friends at Sucafina. It is a unique opportunity and a privilege to have a coffee that is traceable to a single producer in Ethiopia. Dawit Dagiso cultivates coffee at Shantawene Farm in Sidama Bensa, Sidamo. He grows a range of local landraces and JARC (Jimma Agricultural Research Centre) varieties, which have all evolved to thrive in Ethiopia’s climatic conditions.
Working with Sucafina Ethiopia and their Lalisaa program, Dawit receives technical support and training that helps him make Shatawene Farm more sustainable and improves the quality of the coffee he produces.
Dawit inherited his farm in the 1990s and has gone on to raise his own family on the farm. Today, his two adult children help with the farm tasks, especially during the height of harvesting season. Dawit uses sustainable agroforestry practices to cultivate coffee and his farm is organic-by-default. In addition to coffee, he also grows false banana (enset), fruit trees and legumes. Fruit and timber trees provide shade for growing coffee and legumes fix nitrogen in the soil, a vital nutrient for growing all plants.
Dawit selectively handpicks ripe, red coffee cherries and processes it on Shantawene farm. He lays the cherries on raised beds to sun dry and turns them with a rake frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks for the cherries to dry. Once dry, Dawit bags the cherries and stores the lots in a warehouse on the farm for about 5 months before it’s transported to the dry mill for processing.
Sucafina are proud green bean importers with a global team of coffee professionals and offices in many corners of the world. We’ve worked with Sucafina (previously MTC) since 2015 and have valued and admired their commitment to quality, sustainability and transparency.
Based in Addis Ababa, Sucafina Ethiopia works as a service provider connecting local farmers and exporters (colloquially known as ‘shippers’) with international buyers. The Lalisaa Project is part of Sucafina’s FarmerHub initiative, which focuses on the broader needs of the farmers and provides business opportunities outside of coffee production.
Lalisaa coffees are helping make connections and developing relationships between farmers and their potential clients. This will enable direct trade relationships that can benefit both farmers and roasters.
The Lalisaa Project:
The Lalisaa Project was established by Sucafina Ethiopia in 2018 to support producers in marketing and exporting their coffees outside the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX) system. About 98% of the coffee in Ethiopia is produced by smallholders and is the country’s most important agricultural export. While most coffees go through the ECX, reforms recently passed by the government have allowed farms and co-ops to sell their coffees directly to consumers, resulting in increased traceability and fairer pricing.
In Amharic, the word ‘Lalisaa’ means to grow or flourish. By participating in the Lalisaa program, smallholder coffee farmers and quality-focused coffee washing stations in key growing areas across the country can access support and resources that will help them thrive.
The goal of the Lalisaa Project is to improve the quantity and quality of coffee produced by partnered producers by improving farming and processing practices. This, in turn, will contribute to increased prices and improved social and environmental standards to the producing communities. Ultimately, the project is designed to cultivate a strong, well-informed and independent supply chain that doesn’t rely on financial aid or intervention from exporters and importers.
As of 2022, there are 97 farmers enrolled in the Lalisaa Project curriculum across three micro-regions; Yirgacheffe, Kochere and Gedeb, which are all located within the Gedeo Political Zone. New farmers are onboard each year for a training program intended to help farmers improve yields and quality, while also accessing new markets and financial services.
Through Sucafina’s Lalisaa Project, Dawit has earned an additional $1.87AUD per kilogram which will go towards improving his farming practices and long term income. This is approximately 20% more than he would have earned through the usual commodities exchange model.
The coffee displays complex characteristics, a balanced acidity, and fruit-driven tasting notes classic of a natural Ethiopian. We are humbled to be roasting it and we look forward to sharing it with you!
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