We’re scoring quality Arabica from little-known smallholders in Ethiopia. Like Zewdie. He’d like to say ‘hello’.
Name: Zewdie Haile
Size of property: 2 hectares
Community role: Officer of Justice & Security
Mr. Zewdie Haile is one of 99 smallholder coffee farmers Moyee cooperates with in Ethiopia. Like many smallholders, Zewdie lives in a small house which he happily opens to anyone looking for a cup of self-harvested, roasted and ground coffee. Coffee is his career and his life – he has approximately 2 hectares of land to grow coffee on. That equals about 6,000 coffee shrubs, good for about 2,000 kg cherries each harvest. He uses absolutely no chemicals or pesticides, and the undeniable quality of his coffee drew us to his home, which he shares with his wife and 7 children, all of whom are in school.
Smallholders can’t go alone, and rely on larger plantations in the area to wash and dry their coffee. Zewdie sells his coffee to the nearby Tega & Tula farm. That’s how we first came into contact with him, because we work closely with Tega & Tula.
While quite typically as a high-quality smallholder, Zewdie is anything but average. He plays an active role in his community as an ‘officer of justice and security’. Everybody knows Zewdie, and his home is often filled with local villagers seeking advice. They also know him because he is one of the region’s passionate activists in uniting the strengths of smallholders in Ethiopia. You see, Zewdie knows his coffee is exceptional, and he also knows that smallholders working alone are powerless against the powerful Western buyers interested in great — and mostly cheap — coffee. We couldn’t agree more.