OCFCU - Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union
Coffee communities in Ethiopia suffer heavily from extreme poverty. OCFCU has played a significant role in addressing and solving these issues. Farmers voted to use Fair Trade premiums to implement a wide variety of program ranging from providing clean water, to better access to schools, to building bridges and flour-mills for the community. Clean water is a luxury to many living in poverty. Water is usually collected from still bodied lakes and ponds that contain parasites and waste materials. The cooperative has focused its efforts on building wells that provide malaria-free drinking water for the community. Flour mills have also been constructed within the community so that women don’t have to walk up to 20 miles every day to retrieve water.
OCFCU members are dedicated to promoting environmental stewardship and social justice in their communities. Women hold prominent positions throughout the organization and all six varieties of OCFCU’s award-winning coffee are produced with organic techniques in bird-friendly conditions. Today, OCFCU sells its coffee to Fair Trade markets in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Access to Potable Water
OROMIA invested $47,330 of the premium to provide potable water for members, which helped to promote the skill of the community in the management and operation of the project, as well as ensure the project’s long-term sustainability, during the implementation process. Ultimately the project helped to improve sanitation and hygiene of the environment, promoting a healthy, productive community.