Coffee is heavily ingrained in Ethiopian culture and tradition, half the country's production is consumed domestically.
In a unique partnership, Ethiopia’s legendary coffee farmers and the country’s most innovative roastery, have created a sustainable practice increasing local value before export.
We have named the concept GORA – a word deeply rooted in the Ethiopian primeval forest.
Our beans are sourced from organic smallholder farms in the districts of Limu, Sidamo & Kaffa.
The lat and long coordinates in our impact statement, shown below, takes you to the new roastery site, not far from the capital - Addis Ababa.
9.104N 38.979E to be exact....
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 with the aim of building a better world for people and planet by 2030.
They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, equality and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and working to preserve our ocean and forests.
GORA and the UN share the same goals.
Through our responsible production, from plant to cup, GORA is contributing to several of the SDGs targets and we work continuously to address any area of further improvement.
Our production has a low CO2 consumption as a result of the organic forestry farming and the practices used here.
Completed earlier this year, GORA is now roasting at what will be one of Africa's first carbon free roasting facilities. While the roastery is operational and technically compliant, the official carbon free validation is still pending.
Working with shippers, exporters and importers, we are looking at ways to consolidate shipments, in order to maximize container space.
Exporting the finished product and using our practices, add more jobs and create far greater value in the country of origin.
A vast majority of imported Green beans are sorted by machines and roasted in large-scale facilities, supplying multipe countries, hence no jobs are lost here.
Along with importers from Holland and Ireland, GORA help sustain a production line from forest to finished product - made in Ethiopia.
Complying with the target of eradicating child labour, GORA is committed to make sure, that the children of farmers supplying us, go to school - not work!
Our production ensure a minimum of waste. Every berry is hand picked, every bean inspected and hand sorted before and after roasting. Beans not meeting export criteria is sold off to the domestic market, which consumes half of the country's production.
What happens to packaging once it's empty, will in most cases, determine how sustainable it is. Closely monitoring and analyzing all technical and regulatory advancements, we will upgrade our current packaging once we've find the right solution. Our focus is a low or neutral CO2 footprint, recycled and/or recycable without compromising the quality of the coffee.
GORA coffee is grown under the forest canopy in the Ethiopian highlands. With no use of chemicals, farmers are relying on the ecosystem and its biodiversity.
After many years of deforestation, in which also the coffee industry plays a part, reforestation is now increasing.
The change is fueled by a recognition of the forest, being one of the most important tools to combat climate change and a source of premium quality coffee, high in demand worldwide. UNEP, various NGOs and government bodies are teaching young Ethiopians that the forest not only prevent landslides and soil erosion, but also represent a fertile opportunity for agriculture - agroforestry.
Coffee grown in a field can yield 3-4 times as much as that of a forest. But not only is the quality of coffee grown in the shade, far superior, the trees also provide shelter and a home to numerous migratory and endemic bird species.
One such is the Blue-breasted Bee-eater, which is the bird we've adopted as our ambassador. It's one of the most faithful inhabitants in this ecosystem and plays a key role. Despite its name, it primarily preys on insects harmful to plants and while eating nectar, it's pollinating the forest flora.
Various studies show that Ethiopian shade grown coffee is perhaps the most bird friendly coffee in the world, due to the many species found here.
Sadly, only a small percentage of the world's coffee is grown in the shade of a tree, but you can help change this trend by choosing responsible forest- or shade grown coffee such a GORA.
Importing organic products into the EU, GORA is controlled by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, the icon is a link to their report. An English version will be available in a near future.