Ethiopia

Duromina Cooperative

About

Duromina Cooperative

Duromina

Highlights

  • Duromina Cooperative offers you clean, rich-acidity coffees with notes of lemon and melon.
  • Coffees from Duromina belong to the best you find in western Ethiopia.
  • Duromina Cooperative provides an income for 327 grower-families.

The history of Duromina Cooperative

“Duromina” is a word in the Afan Oromo language that describes a blessing to succeed or to become wealthy. It is also the name of a cooperative in the Gomma district of Jimma zone in western Ethiopia. In the present day, Duromina’s washed grade-1 coffee is sought-after the world over. But that was not always the case.

The farmers of Duromina reside in the Gomma district of western Ethiopia, within the Jimma zone. Like much of Jimma zone, the Gomma district is a typical coffee country. The gently rolling hills range in height from 1975 to 2000 meters around Duromina. The local forest trees give plenty of shade. Coffee has grown wild here for centuries.

Farmers here have grown coffee for many generations, and their livelihoods have always been tied to the bean. So, when coffee berry disease struck in the 70s, it was a severe blow to almost everyone in the region. Over the years that followed, the market for coffee from the region slowly dried up. The farmers who now make up the Duromina cooperation were at the point of giving up. Their coffee being deemed unfit for sale and returned to them as worthless. To make any money, they were forced to sell whatever coffee they had to private traders at ever-decreasing prices.

The turning point

When things seemed quite hopeless, a non-profit called TechnoServe carried out an intervention program in the area. They offered business advice, training, and the push that the Duromina farmers needed to find a solution to their problem. “We did not think it was possible, but we decided to try anyway”, says Tahir Mohammed, the current chairman of the cooperative.

Forming the Duromina Cooperative

Many were doubtful that change would come about, but, 114 farmers got together in 2010 and formed the Duromina Cooperative. With a capital of just 78,000 Ethiopian birrs, the men and women got to work getting rid of all their diseased coffee trees and planting fresh seedlings that were resistant to coffee berry disease. Everyone was trained on the requirements of specialty coffee and learned the best way to plant, tend, and harvest their coffee trees.

Duromina’s road to success

Then, the cooperation took out their first loan and set up their first washing station and prepared for their first new harvest. Change was immediately evident. The quality of Duromina’s washed coffee was top-notch, and buyers stopped rejecting the cooperative’s produce. Duromina’s coffee even won the 2012 African Taste of Harvest award for Africa’s best coffee that year. Since then, the cooperative has gone from strength to strength.

Developing the community

Seeing that Duromina’s coffee now had a market, other farmers in the area signed up, almost tripling membership to 327 smallholders (77 of them women). The cooperative opened its second wet mill in 2012 and followed this up with a third in 2014.

Once unable to sell any coffee, the farmers of Duromina are now able to give back to their community. They are building a bridge that now allows access across a troublesome river. Besides the bridge, they are providing facilities for the local school, and even working with the authorities to bring electricity to homes in the area.

How Duromina maintains quality

The cooperative now has three modern machines for its wet mills and about 80 percent of its produce is grade-1 coffee. However, Duromina’s farmers produce more coffee than the mills accept. This is because the cooperative has had trouble finding buyers for all its coffee, so it is hesitant to process more.

Duromina’s leaders believe that focusing on quality is the way to overcome this hurdle. Duromina only accepts the best coffee its farmers have to offer, and only accepts as much as the mills can handle perfectly.

“High-quality coffee will always find a market”, Tahir Mohammed

Also, the mills add an extra step right after the beans are washed (and before they go to the drying beds) in the form of skin drying tables. This extra 24-hour step helps enhance flavors and provides an opportunity to remove defective beans before the final drying stage.

“We believe that high-quality coffee will always find a market, so our focus is always on the quality of the coffee”, says Tahir. That is probably why Duromina coffee is one of western Ethiopia’s best specialty coffees.

Technical

Information

Region

limu

Processes

Washed

Varieties

Mixed Heirloom

Altitude

1975 - 2000 masl.

Cupping notes

Traceability

of supply-chain

  1. 1. Duromina Cooperative members


    Coop members deliver their cherries to the Duromina washing station. But Duromina is strict when it comes to quality. They only accept the best coffee cherries from members.
  2. 2. Duromina washing station


    Duromina workers de-pulped, ferment, wash, and dry the coffee. After drying, the coffee finds it’s way to one of the dry-mills of the Union.
  3. 3. Kata Muduga Multi-purpose Farmer's Cooperative Union


    Duromina is part of an umbrella-organization: The Kata Muduga Multi-purpose Farmer's Cooperative Union. Keta Muduga arranges storage, milling, and export in coordination with our logistics department.
  4. 4. Shipping line


    As opposed to third parties, we work directly with ocean lines, transport providers, and warehouses to negotiate fair prices and timely service.
  5. 5. Warehouses


    Trabocca has long-standing, proven relationships with over 15 warehouses globally. You can find the Duromina coffee in both US and EU-based warehouses.
  6. 6. Trabocca


    Besides selecting the finest Duromina lots and providing logistical services, we check the quality of this coffee extensively. Our Q Graders cup type, stock, pre-shipment, and spot samples in Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, and Minneapolis.
  7. 7. You


    And finally, the Duromina coffee arrives at your roasting facilities doorstep. Ready for you to roast!

Pictures & links

of Duromina Cooperative