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Producer Profiles

SCFCU - Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union

The Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU) was founded in 2001 to represent coffee producing cooperatives located throughout the Sidama zone of southern Ethiopia. As a result of the region's excellent soil, ideal climate, and high elevation (1,750-2,100m), they have become an origin recognized for their world-class specialty coffee production. Today, SCFCU represents 46 cooperatives and over 80,000 farmers (smallholders), making them the second largest coffee producing cooperative union in Ethiopia. Currently, 39 cooperatives are Fair Trade Certified and 35 are Certified Organic.

SCFCU supports farmers by developing producer/buyer linkages, directly exporting members' coffee to the international market, facilitating access to finance for the harvest, and through capacity building, training, and education programs. They have successfully increased farmers' share of the price received for the coffee, all the while contributing to improvements in quality for Ethiopian coffee as well as the socioeconomic well-being of farming communities.

According to their General Manager, "the benefits of Fair Trade and other certifications cannot be overstated. With price premiums, farming communities are able to feed themselves and invest in new infrastructure such as roads, grain mills, schools, access to electricity, bridges, and other much-needed facilities."



Sidama used $116,440 of the premium to provide coffee farmers with access to electric light to replace gas-powered light. One of the goals of this project was to eliminate the smoke from the gas that was formerly used, which causes health problems. With this project, Sidama also aims to reduce the cutting of trees for firewood that can result in deforestation and soil erosion.

New Roads Ease Production and Connect Communities

Farmers of Ethiopia’s Dale District, members of SCFCU via the Shoye Community Cooperative, voted to invest their Fair Trade Premium in a road construction and rehabilitation project. The resulting roads now connect residents across five districts to two coffee washing stations, four schools, one health clinic, six healthcare posts, several small markets and religious institutions. The roads minimize the amount of time and energy expended on transportation, allowing an estimated 4,500 farmers from this region to devote more hours to production and other activities.

The Lela Honcho Cooperative invested the majority of their Fair Trade Premium in the construction of a rural road .This project benefits over 1,500 local residents of the five administrative districts.

Construction of Schools

The Shilicho Cooperative, located in the Dara district, constructed three schools. This project benefits 1,200 elementary school students.