Sidama Union, Ethiopia

sidama1Fast Facts about Sidama Union (SCFCU)

Founded in: 2001

Members: 87,000 farmers as of 2008, 45 cooperatives; 30 FLO certified

Regions: Sidama (southwest Ethiopia)

sidama3 SCFCU began representing small-scale farmers in 2001 and has since grown to become the second largest coffee producing cooperative union in Ethiopia.  The majority of its member coops are organic and Fair Trade certified and nearly all their coffee is grown in the shade of diverse, indigenous trees.  Approximately 5,000 tons of sidamo coffee is produced per year, 95% of which is washed.

sidama2Harvest time occurs between September to December depending on the coffee's altitude and rainfall.  After the families harvest the cherries, they sell them to the primary cooperatives for wet processing. 

There are approximately 220 wet processing centers, 92 of which are owned by members of the coops.  The dried parchment is then stored in a warehouse until delivery to the central market in Addis Ababa where the husk is removed and the clean beans are packaged for export.

Cooperative Coffees began importing unwashed Sidama coffee directly from Sidama Union in 2009.