Ethiopia

Worka Sakaro (Mijanes’) Washing Station

About

Worka Sakaro (Mijanes’) Washing Station

Worka Sakaro

Highlights

  • Worka Sakaro delivers state of the art Yirgacheffe coffees: acidity rich, juicy, and floral coffees with notes of orange, rue, and apricot.
  • Ato Mijane Worassa, the owner of Worka Sakaro, provides pre-financing for his smallholders and teaches them how to preserve the local forests with home-made organic compost.

Ato Mijane Worassa

Worka Sakaro is a small locality in the Gedeb district close to Yirgacheffe, southern Ethiopia. Just a few kilometers to the east of Gedeb town, Worka Sakaro is a high-altitude location, and much of the surrounding area lies at an altitude of about 2000 to 2200 meters above sea level.

Today, most of the lush green hills in the area are home to many coffee trees, hiding under the protective canopy of large shade trees. But it was not always so. When Ato Mijane Worassa first came to Gedeb as a young man with his father over 50 years ago, most of the area was thick untouched forest.

Over the years, coffee farming took hold in the region and Gedeb coffee has now made a name for itself around the world, gaining the recognition it deserves. Featuring fruity and floral notes, coffee from this region has similar flavors to the varietals from the Yirgacheffe region further north.

Ato Mijane – in his journey from corn farmer to coffee trader to coffee exporter – is very much a part of the story of how Gedeb coffee, and especially Worka Sakaro’s varieties, have made their way to the world.

Ato Mijane’s Washing Station

Ato Mijane Worassa established his washing station here in the mid-90s. It was a long and arduous journey, involving 17 years of growing corn and saving before he could fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a coffee exporter.

His washing station at Worka Sakaro is his first (he has several more now in the area) and was established on land inherited from his father. The station is well equipped with a local pulping machine, two large warehouses, 360 African drying beds and mesh nets (essential to ensure that beans are air-dried evenly with no mold taking hold).

Painstakingly ensuring quality

“During harvest season, you’ll find my father working hand in hand with the workers”, says Daniel, Ato Mijane’s eldest son, and manager of his mills. He goes on to explain how Ato Mijane painstakingly ensures the quality of his coffee – personally overseeing every single step from the moment the coffee is accepted from farmers to the moment it is shipped out in sacks.

The Worka Sakaro
smallholders

The Worka washing station works with over 400 smallholders in the area, most of whom grow their coffee on the slopes of a mountain called Rudu, which is easily visible from the mill.

Like other Gedeo farmers in the Gedeo zone, many of these farmers identify as Protestant Christians and are a close-knit society that often come to the aid of community members in need. In fact, the community once helped Ato Mijane get back on his feet when he suffered a difficult business loss in his earlier years.

Giving back to the community

  1. Pre-financing: Providing loans to coffee farmers in cash that they can pay back in the form of coffee during harvest season.
  2. Education: Farmers are taught the importance of local forests and shade trees, and how that can affect the flavors and quality of coffee. They are educated on best practices for organic compost. This is something that benefits everyone involved, ensuring the flavors of Worka coffee remain unique and refreshing.
  3. Community projects: Chairs and desks for local schools as well as building materials for members of the local church.

The Future for the Worka Sakaro Washing Station

“We face several challenges, including limited information regarding potential customers, meaning we invest in coffee with no guarantee of sales”, says Daniel. Prior to 2018, Worka Sakaro coffee from the Mijanes’ washing station was exported via other exporters. However, in their first year with an export license, the Mijanes found buyers for 75% of their Gedeb coffee and are grateful that they had a good year.

From father to son

Daniel Mijane officially joined his father as his manager a few years back and brought his youth and passion to the business. College-educated and forward-looking, Daniel looks for ways to help the mills improve quality and to find better markets for their coffee.

“We are working on establishing new washing stations, but our main goal is to get Gedeb coffee out to the world in clusters, based on the kebele it is grown in”, says Daniel, talking about his plans to improve traceability of lots from Gedeb district. He is grateful for customer feedback as it tells him what buyers want and then he can find ways of improving processes to meet customer needs.

With Daniel’s passion and Ato Mijane’s attention to detail, the future looks bright for the Mijanes and their coffee.

Technical

Information

Region

yirgacheffe

Certifications

Non-Certified

Processes

Washed

Varieties

Mixed Heirloom

Altitude

2000 - 2200 masl.

Producer

Mijane Worassa

Traceability

of supply-chain

  1. 1. Worka Sakaro smallholders


    The Worka washing station works with over 400 smallholders in the area, most of whom grow their coffee on the slopes of a mountain called Rudu, which is easily visible from the mill.
  2. 2. Worka Sakaro (Mijanes’) Washing Station


    The 400 Worka Sakaro smallholders deliver their cherries at the Mijane’s washing station.
  3. 3. Mijane Worassa Coffee Export


    Mijane and Daniel export the Worka Sakaro coffee through Mijane Worassa Coffee Export.
  4. 4. Shipping line


    As Trabocca, we work directly (as opposed to via third parties) 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. Worka Sakaro coffee can be found at USA and EU based warehouses.
  6. 6. Trabocca


    Besides selecting the finest Worka Sakaro lots and providing logistical services, we check the quality of this coffee extensively. Type, stock, pre-shipment, and spot samples are all cupped by our Q Graders in Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, and Minneapolis.
  7. 7. You


    And finally, the Worka Sakaro coffee arrives at your roasting facilities doorstep. Ready to be roasted and consumed by your audience.

Timeline

of Worka Sakaro (Mijanes’) Washing Station

1969

The young Ato Mijane Worassa arrives in Gedeb, Yirgacheffe.

1984

Ato Mijane becomes a small scale coffee farmer and also grows corn.

1995

Ato Mijane establishes the Worka Sakaro washing station.

2018

Ato Mijane gets an exporter license and finds his own buyers, including Trabocca.

Pictures & links

of Worka Sakaro (Mijanes’) Washing Station