There’s so much to tell you about Biftu Gudina that we could write a book. Except for the part about actually sitting down and writing it. And then spell-checking it. Don’t get us started on spell-checking.
So don’t expect a book on Biftu Gudina. For the whole story, join a Sourcing Seminar at our Bay Area homeroom. Meanwhile, here’s the short version:
The year: 2012. The place: West Ethiopia. The characters: us; some folks from the TechnoServe international non-governmental organization; and the neighbors that became the Biftu Gudina co-op.
The setting: fertile soil, healthy plants, honest and dedicated people. Plans for a wet mill and a good road… but nothing more than plans.
The background: TechnoServe advises these folks on establishing their co-op and building their wet mill. We put in our two cents (figuratively) about our quality standards; and we put in several more cents (literally) by fully funding a Harvest Assistant to help Biftu reach said standards.
Flash forward to 2015: Biftu Gudina constructs a second wet mill further into the forest, attracting a few hundred neighboring small-scale local farmers. (Sub-plot: This simultaneously improves the standard of living for members of the Biftu Gudina co-op and their neighbors.)
2016: We host the Biftu chairperson, Yazid, in Addis for his first formal lab cupping. Yazid takes his knowledge back to share with his Biftu co-op members.
The cliffhanger: How will this year’s coffee taste? (Spoiler alert: It’s lovely.)