Coffee is more valuable than gold yet coffee farmers are some of the poorest people on our planet. Beyond their mud and mortar homes and their coffee shrubs these hard working women and men possess little else.
Moyee Coffee is grown high in the Ethiopian mountains in the forests of the Limu and Jimma region. Most of our farmers tend small one hectare plots of land, about the size of a rugby pitch. Typically a farmer might grow coffee as a cash crop on half of their land and food for their family on the other. They may own 200 coffee shrubs which can yield a harvest of about 200 kilos of red cherries. At harvest time farmers can earn about €400 from their coffee.
At Moyee a key target for us is to get our farmers to a living income*. That means we need to help them more than double their earnings so that each family can reach €1,000 a year. We’re attempting to do that in a variety of ways:
Our FairChain Premium
We pay our farmers a 20% FairChain premium on all of their coffee cherries. The premium is paid to farmers who commit to stay organic, work with the forest and attend our training sessions. This helps raise a farmers income from about €400 a year to €480 but we know this is not enough.
In partnership with the University of Wageningen (Netherlands) and Jimma college of agriculture we’ve created a training programme in sustainable farming practices to boost yields and the quality of the coffee cherries while also protecting and preserving the forests. We’re also partnering with Self Help Africa training on crop diversification to improve household food security.
It's still a big challenge to make €1,000 from just hectare of land. That’s why were in the processing of raising funds to buy 800 hectares of depleted land in the region. We’ll rejuvenate the land by planting a million trees and new coffee shrubs and our farmers can take ownership of 3 hectare plots so they can really begin to prosper.
Tip the Farmer with BlockChain
We're probably most excited about our BlockChain project and the potential for our coffee fans to tip the farmer by sending a portion of their purchase price down to support the work of the farmer coop helping pay for tools, seeds, training and other interventions that can boost farmer incomes.
* calculations for an Ethiopian family of 7 suggest they should earn 34,200 Birr per year (the equivalent of €1,070 per year). Typically bout 75% of this income is spent on food, education, healthcare and housing allowing 25% to be saved.