After a long six years, we managed to return to the home of coffee Ethiopia. Our trip was a week long journey through the coffee heartlands of Sidamo, Yirga 'Chefe and Guji.
One of our longest relationship farms is Suke Quto, which is located in Guji, not far from the town of Shakiso. We spent a full day in the fields and at the washing station, talking to Tesfaye Bekele and reliving his life's coffee journey.
After a bushfire, out of a desire of forest conservation, Tesfaye started Suke Quto Farm which is currently Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified.
In the aftermath of the fire, it was possible to conserve the forest by distributing coffee and shade tree seedlings amongst the local community. He recruited 150 out-growers, that replanted the forest and he continues to educate land owners about the benefits in planting coffee on their land versus other crops.
With this, Tesfaye accomplished his dream with Suke Quto Farm: developing environmentally friendly coffee, and sustaining the local community with a consistent income. The local smallholders harvest organic coffee and deliver it to Suke Quto Farm for processing.
Our trip was validation that with Tesfaye's commitment to conserving the environment, the community's wellbeing and also producing quality coffee, we will continue to purchase coffee from Suke Quto for years to come.