The coffee forest in Ethiopia protects biodiversity and is a significant element of the natural genetic bank for Arabica varietals from the country. These forests are under threat and must be protected. One obvious way to do this is to raise awareness and encourage people to buy forest coffee from Ethiopia.
Two companies, TechnoServe and Partnerships for Forests, together created an efficient guide that makes finding coffee from these regions easily accessible and identifiable to those interested in purchasing. Forest Coffee is a term defined by Partnerships for Forests as:
Coffee that grows naturally in primary forests that have not been disturbed or damaged by human interference
TechnoServe is a leading nonprofit organisation, operating in almost 30 countries, which helps people lift themselves out of poverty by harnessing the power of the private sector. Partnerships for Forests provide grant finance and technical assistance to propose alternatives to business as usual in the land-use sector. They also support the private sector in partnerships with the public sector and forests-dependent communities that can deliver on deforestation-free commitments and improve livelihoods.
These two companies have been working on raising awareness of Ethiopian coffee forests with international coffee buyers since 2018. They created an interactive map that provides a great visual way to understand the origins and characteristics of the various coffee variants. In the UK, if you’ve bought Yayu Forest coffee from Union Roasted, you’ve already been supporting the project.
TechnoServe worked together with CoQua Trading PLC to retrieve samples from five forest coffee zones in Ethiopia to create profiles for 84 private and cooperative mills.
On top of that, the companies have also come together to create an illustrated booklet – (download below), filled with rich images, that acts as a handy and useful reference source. The booklet provides a brief history into the origins of Ethiopian coffee forests, highlights the five zones and their biodiverse habitats, and the types of Arabica varietals provided by private and cooperatives mills.
Both the interactive map and illustrated booklet are effective resources to educate and raise awareness of the various coffee varieties grown in the coffee forests in Ethiopia. With an easy-to-read format and catching visuals, buyers can have a better idea of the coffee varieties that are available and which they would be interested in buying.
Purchasing coffee from these coffee forests not only supports the sustainability efforts but is also helping to protect the rich biodiversity that inhabits them.