TechnoServe releases Ethiopian Arabica coffee guide to promote forest conservation


Not-for-profit TechnoServe and Partnerships for Forests have released a guide which provides information on Ethiopia’s Arabica coffee and the wild forests and semi-forests where these coffee beans are grown.

The guide is designed to drive awareness of the coffee’s origins, resultantly increasing market profitability and farmer income, resulting in more sustainable livelihoods and greater forest conservation efforts.

Titled ‘Ethiopia’s Forest Coffee: An Illustrated Guide,’ the booklet also provides information such as cupping scores and flavour profiles of samples from nearly 100 cooperatives and mills from across the Ethiopian zones of Illubabor, Jimma, Kaffa, Bench Sheko, and Bale.

Stories, maps and photographs of Ethiopia’s forest coffee regions are also included, along with the contact details of cooperative unions who can facilitate coffee sales. An interactive map, created as part of guide, helps coffee roasters and buyers learn more about the coffee’s origins.

Paul Stewart, Global Coffee Director of TechnoServe says, “We are thrilled to help shine a spotlight on Ethiopia’s forest coffee. Not only do these coffees have extraordinary taste profiles, [but] they also have a unique story and represent an enormous opportunity to support rural livelihoods and environmental conservation.”

By building a market for Arabica coffee, TechnoServe and Partnerships for Forests hope this will increase conservation efforts for these forests where the coffee is found. While rural population growth and deforestation are threatening these forests, these areas not only support a diverse array of flora and fauna, but support the livelihoods of communities nearby, providing an “invaluable genetic bank for Arabica coffee varieties.”

Tayyese Tesfaye, Chairman of the Gizmeret Multipurpose Cooperative in Bench Sheko zone says, “We are living in the forest, working in the forest, and depending on the forest.”

Sustainable specialty coffee trader Falcon Coffee has partnered with TechnoServe to print and distribute this guide to coffee-roasting partners.

Konrad Brits, CEO of Falcon Coffees says, “Ethiopia is probably the only origin where the manner in which coffee is farmed by smallholders protects tropical forests and the biodiversity within.

“This book captures the importance of this practice in the face of the climate crisis. Through fact and imagery, you will meet the communities that carry out this act of stewardship while producing some of Ethiopia’s finest coffees. This is an important book about people who need our support and whose work we need to champion.”
TechnoServe is a not-for-profit which takes a business approach to combating poverty.

Partnerships for Forests is a project funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office of the United Kingdom, and seeks to create partnerships across the private and public sectors that will increase forest conservation efforts.

To view the guide, please click here.

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