Wild coffee harvest. - Photo: Angelika Berndt
Green diversification of Ethiopia’s garden coffee value chain
Kafa Biosphere Reserve in Ethiopia, the origin of Arabica coffee, is increasingly challenged by the lack of long-term employment, income and innovation for sustainable development and adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Garden coffee is coffee grown by farmers in the vicinity of their home. It is traditionally organic, although not currently certified, and grown in very small quantities alongside other crops and shade-giving trees. Garden coffee that is grown in home gardens of the Kafa Biosphere Reserve represents an essential source of income for the majority of smallholder households. However at present it is non-commercialised and undervalued, with no quality management in place. The consortium, consisting of two commercial partners and two NGOs from the green sector, aims to develop and restructure the garden coffee value chain.
The project will create local self-sustaining and environmentally-friendly business models around the commercialised garden coffee value chain by developing new products including organic Kafa garden coffee, organic sparkling coffee leaf beverage and potentially also coffee husk briquettes.
This will contribute to increasing the market value and access of garden coffee. Ultimately income will be diversified and jobs created. This will serve as an inspiring model for local development and contribute to a climate-resilient green economy in Ethiopia.
Our planned achievements
- New market access: organically certified garden coffee.
- New product: refreshing beverage from coffee leaves.
- Renewable green fuel from waste product: coffee husk briquettes.
- Jobs: At least 25 new jobs have been created (minimum 20% of those for women and 50% youth).
- Income opportunities: At least 1,450 people benefit (minimum 30% women and 25% youths) from increased income at individual level.
- Project viability: 60,000 kg of the single origin garden coffee and 1.5 million litres of coffee leaf beverage have been sold by the commercial partners.
- Commercial partners have responsible business conduct (RBC) policies and annual reports on their business conduct are available online.
Administrative partner: The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU)
Key commercial partner: Lebensbaum
Forests of the World (FoW)
South West Ethiopia Peoples‘ Region (SWEPR)
Kafa Zone Administration
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
Danida Market Development Partnerships
July 2019 – May 2023
The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU)
While it is Germany’s oldest and largest environmental association, with more than 770,000 members and sponsors, it is a registered international NGO in Ethiopia and has been active there since 2006. NABU has established a respected role in the Kafa region through closely working with local communities and government partners.
NABU is the project’s administrative partner and responsible for overall project management, technical backstopping, administrative and financial supervision and monitoring, evaluation and adaptation. Throughout the project, NABU will be in direct communication with all consortium partners, coordinating and guiding the consortium, updating partners on the general project progress, managing consortium meetings and responsible for communication and reporting to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
Lebensbaum is the project’s key commercial partner and will be involved in the value chain development of organic garden coffee beans. Lebensbaum will provide technical assistance for coffee quality improvement, and be in charge of market access, export, product development and product marketing. They contribute their rich experience in cooperating on organic products with smallholder farmers and cooperatives from all over the world.
Forests of the World (FoW)
Founded in Denmark in 1983 with the objective to conserve and manage the world’s forests in a sustainable way. We create opportunities for forest dependent communities and people who aspire to save the forests of the world. FoW’s main role is providing technical advice, in particular capacity building on value chain development, business planning and product innovation. With substantial experience in sustainable value chains, FoW will provide technical support to local implementation, assistance to local capacity building and communication activities.
With its experience in implementing activities with the Kafa Biosphere Reserve’s communities for over a decade, NABU Ethiopia is perfectly positioned as the local implementing partner and is in charge of day-to-day project implementation. The work will be carried out by the NABU Project Office Bonga and supported by NABU’s Head Office in Addis Ababa.
The Danish company is involved in the value chain development of organic garden coffee leaves. Twisted Leaf will provide technical assistance and training for quality improvement, market access, export, product development and marketing.
Kafa Zone Administration
The Kafa Zone Administration is a long-standing partner of NABU and fully supports the implementation of the project in many different ways.
the project in detail
The Kafa Zone still boasts large, overlapping areas of mountainous afromontane cloud forest. The region is one of the 36 “Biodiversity Hotspots” worldwide and is therefore of global significance for conservation. Around 100 woody plant and many bird and mammal species are recorded. more →
The forest ecosystem makes an important contribution to the livelihoods of people in the area. It provides wild coffee, a variety of commercially valuable spices and honey from wild bees. Apart from collecting wild coffee in the forest, the local population grow ‘garden’ coffee and farm crops, vegetables and fruit. more →