Your cart is empty
From 2008 till 2017, most Ethiopian coffees weren't best recognised for their transparency. The long-winded value chain and complex local coffee market policies meant small-scale farmers had little to no chance of trading independently on national or international markets.
The Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX) was a government-initiated organisation in 2008. The goal was to centralise warehousing and regulate coffee trading. Although it could inform farmers of market rates daily and the best times to sell their coffee, it was inevitably a monopoly that prevented farmers from creating their own trading relationships.
Uncertain quality, transparency, and traceability were all distinctive shortcomings of this system. In 2017, the Ethiopian coffee industry underwent reform and diminished its policies, and instead, an open market and quality-focused approach could flourish. As a result, producers, exporters, coffee traders and roasters could benefit from new-found traceability and develop relationships with farmers. One critical policy change allowed smallholders to practice direct and international trade with tax exemption.
Despite the promising changes, there are still factors that hinder Ethiopian farmers from utilising these new opportunities. Considerable challenges include lack of trade knowledge, resources, networks, financial support, and logistics. In addition, especially for smallholders, it's less economically feasible or affordable to operate a coffee exporting business purely financed by their smaller farms and production.
However, a farmer's production size isn't all there is to make this happen. An exporter also needs organised quality control and milling facilities, sustainable business practices, warehouses, and skilled manpower. More international and local experts provide education and knowledge in these gaps, working closely with farmers to empower them with the tools required for independent trade. One of which is G Broad Trading PLC, which started Jabanto as a small organisation of farmers with 29 founding members in Yirgacheffe and Kochere. With over 87 smallholder members today, the group has become an all-rounded coffee-producing community that explores different processing and creates unique lots, reaching new international markets.
Jabanto translates to 'stronger together' in the local Gedeo zone dialect, Gedeofa. These farmers inherited the coffee farming tradition from their grandparents, combining it with modern knowledge, producing impeccably quality coffees every year. Coffee varieties have become a focus, especially with thousands of local varieties cultivated in the area since the earliest founding history of Arabica coffee in Ethiopia. The constant research behind the varieties allows farmers to find the best types of coffee trees to grow, yielding prized cup flavours while being sturdy and sustainable to farm. Among all these varieties, the ones that make up the Jabanto coffee are Kurume, Dega and Wolisho.
Natural and washed coffees are the main methods for Jabanto, and now they're in the early days of experimenting with honey, carbonic maceration and anaerobic fermentation techniques. We feel there's great promise for larger-scale lots of exciting coffees from Jabanto in coming years. Outside of coffee harvest season, the Jabanto farmers are focused on land preparation, fertilisation, planting and sowing, compost preparation, weed control, and disease and pest control.
This natural processed Jabanto lot is produced by two village communities, Idio and Ela Tenecha. Each Jabanto farmer delivers their own hand-picked coffee cherries to their natural processing sites. The coffee cherries are sorted to remove undesirable cherries before being left to dry for up to 3 weeks. Then, the farmers closely monitor the drying to avoid over-fermenting and ensure they're drying the coffee to the correct moisture levels.
The Jabanto coffee results from an evolving supply chain, striving for traceable quality coffee instead of being a small piece of the mass, lumped exports it would've been sold as only a few years ago. We're truly excited for a future of Ethiopian coffees where any and all farmers are on a levelled playing field to learn, grow, and trade their coffee at the same standard as their cooperative and large estate counterparts.