Many suppliers/processors and coffee traders only engage with farmers during harvest time to collect cherries, pay market prices for the coffees and move along in the supply chain. This means that for many small farmers improved coffee plant varieties remain out of reach, adoption of better processing techniques is slow, and the potential for disease and weather shocks remains.
However, there is a growing body of specialty coffee exporters and suppliers/processors that work directly with farmers, help with upgrading, growing and processing and invest in the community. Galani Coffee (Moplaco Trading PLC) is one such company and one of our suppliers of roasted coffee beans.
In owner Heleanna Georgalis’ own words….
We are predominantly a green coffee exporter with a passion for quality. We source coffees from the central auction from all over Ethiopia keeping in mind two parameters: deliciousness in the cup and respect for the communities around us. We buy red cherry from farmers around our washing stations in Yirgachefe and Sidamo, and prepare a coffee that can be distinguished and rewarding. A farm in Sheka, in a deep and old ecosystem, is now giving us the opportunity to also farm the coffee we love and care for, and to control the process from the beginning to the end of export.
We have been in Ethiopia since 1906. My grandfather was a supplier of coffee from Harar and my father started the export business in 1971. We are now vertically integrated down to the farm and to our own sites and have expanded horizontally into roasting coffee and retail.
Our farm is now properly managed as when we received it, it was truly abandoned. We will put in a washing station this year (2021) so we can also produce fully washed coffee. We have worked with a group of farmers around us, and with a client provided them with materials to build beds and produce better quality coffee. We grew our property and our own production of honey.
In our schools in Sidamo, we continue fixing the floors of the remaining four classrooms, and we painted the building for them.
For Sheka, we fixed the roof of the school, and we also built 90 desks for the students. The school is a shambles and looks like a stable and not a school. It is a work in progress.
The first two photos show the entrance to the school and the old school. The second two show the new school under construction.