Today there are 407 cooperatives with 370,668 Members and $23,801,940 Capital. From the total 63 primary cooperatives with 52,442(46,143 male and 6,299 female) farmers are Fair-trade certified and selling their coffee under Fair-trade term. OCFCU is a democratic member’s owned business operating under the principles of International Cooperative Alliance and Fair-trade. Members of Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union are the growers, processors, and suppliers of high quality, organic Arabica coffee for the direct export. The general objective of the union is to export the farmers’ coffee by passing the auction. OCFCU promotes Fair-trade for socially and environmentally sustainable techniques and long-term relationships between producers, traders, and consumers. It also aims to help small-scale coffee farmers to take advantage of the Fair-trade coffee market.
Benefits of Fair-trade
Social projects in education, health, rod, infrastructure and community facilities the cooperative is implemented the projects. Construction of early child care education, elementary school, high school, technical and vocational school, health centers, rural road, simple bridges, library, teachers’ residence, clean water line extension, provision of supplementary materials for schools and health centers are among major social projects to improve the livelihood of the farmers and surrounding community. Around 65,710 direct beneficiaries are benefited from the projects.
Quality and Productivity
Coffee quality and productivity are the outcome of the pre-harvesting, harvesting and post-harvesting efforts. Good agricultural practices, processing, transportation and warehouse facilities play a significant role in coffee quality and productivity. The union have invested about 75% of its premium on projects improving quality and productivity. Tot trainings on good agricultural practices from seed section up to harvesting, Fair-trade awareness, Internal Control System, establishment of dry coffee processing stations, establishment of washing stations, maintenance of processing facilities, purchase of coffee transporting trucks, construction of warehouses, pre-financing farmers before harvest is among major premium projects on quality and productivity.
OCFCU gave due emphasis for production and environmental sustainability in coffee. The union is strategically using the Fair-trade premium fund to ensure sustainability. Establishment of coffee and coffee shade seedling nursery sites, establishment of waste water recycling facility, spring developments, construction of coffee pulp disposal area are among interventions implemented using Fair-trade premium fund.