When one takes the well-known road from Addis Ababa, via Yirga Alem and Dilla, towards Yirgacheffe, you pass the rich Sidamo area of
Dare – a woreda in the South of the Sidama zone.
There, you will meet Said Adem Bedane, owner of the Bonko washing station.
‘Before I started to process coffee, I was a manager at my father’s import and export company,’ Said Adem Bedane explains. ‘So, setting up commercial businesses runs in the family. I bought the Bonko washing station before the introduction of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), and we were certified as an Organic coffee producer. I primarily sold the coffee to my father, who owned the ‘Adem Bedane Oda’ import-export. But when the ECX was established, the Organic certificate lost its value – our coffee couldn’t be traced back anymore.’
‘The area, that surrounds the washing station, is suitable to cultivate specialty coffee. The station is also well-equipped to handle a 165.000 kilo’s of green coffee every harvest, using; one Agard (three-disc) pulping machine, fermentation bins, and sufficient drying beds. As the owner of Bonko washing station, I see farmers as equal partners. When they harvest their 1 to 2 hectares of land and deliver ripe red cherries to Bonko washing station, we can reward them with better prices. We also donate books to the local school and take the sick to the nearest hospital – using our own company truck.’