Haro Wachu is the new washing station in the Uraga district, Guji Zone which is located in the Oromiya region of Ethiopia, one of the greatest areas in producing high-quality coffees. We have had the pleasure to work with Sookoo coffee since 2020 and we are happy to see them expand. Sookoo produces multiple lots across two drying stations and now we are lucky to be also working with their new washing station! This year, we are offering a new product of theirs, Haro Wachu.
At Haro Wachu station, there are, in total, 30 farmers working and all of them come from Raro Nansebo village. The name of this station comes from the capital city of Uraga. However, talking to the Team of Sookoo Coffee, we found out that Haro stands for “lake” while Wachu stands for “strong tree”.
Since the beginning of our collaboration with Sookoo coffee back in 2020, it has been clear that they share our values of Transparency, Collaboration and Quality which is why we are so excited to expand our offer list with their new product, Haro Wachu. With the Sookoo coffee and you, as roasters, we aim to continue taking an active role in the Ethiopian coffee value chain.
Ture Waji, famously known as ‘The King of Guji’, is the gentle ruler of Sookoo Coffee. He has strong connections to the land, its community and farmers, as he grew up in the region. After studying, he started as an export and farm manager at his cousin’s coffee farm and company Mormora, and at Guji Highlands Coffee. He was able to start Sookoo Coffee (previously Dambi Uddo), thanks to the trade and coffee liberalization in Ethiopia, building his first washing station and exporting his first coffee under his own brand in 2018.
After the Ethiopian coffee liberalisation in 2017, the coffee value chain in Ethiopia has become increasingly transparent. This process is specifically important in the context of Ethiopian coffee: Coffee is one of Ethiopia’s biggest export products. Considering that Ethiopia is still ranking as one of the poorest countries in the world as the World Bank indicates, the importance of coffee and a fair coffee trade is undeniable. The economic importance of coffee extends to small farmers whose livelihoods depend on the national coffee market and their cash crops. Transparent coffee value chains allow fair pricing that enables farmers to build the foundation for a sustainable livelihood. Even though there are still gaps in the transparency of the coffee value chain, it is important to support small farmers and producers in the region to promote growing transparency and fairness in the Ethiopian coffee industry.
The Guji region is well-known for its unique and wonderful cup profiles. The coffee plants grow in an incredible scenery, surrounded by forest jungle at 2,100 to 2,350 metres above sea level. The coffee beans coming from here have a great, smooth body and underlying notes of raspberry, caramel, jam, and ice tea.
The harvest season of Ethiopian coffee beans starts in November and extends to March. The small farmers deliver their harvested cherries to the washing station in Haro Wachu where the cherries are being processed. In the specific case of the Haro Wachu lot, the processing is natural with a total drying time of around 21 to 28 days. After packaging and storing the processed coffee beans, the exporter takes over.
The Coffee Quest shares the value of traceability and sustainable pricing in relation to their farmers with Sookoo Coffee. We are happy to be able to offer yet another product of theirs. The cherries for Haro Wachu go for 60birr this year.
Together, we will continue to dive deeper and bring more understanding realities of farmers, stations and exporters, so we can collaborate as a member of the value chain for everyone’s benefit.
Sookoo Coffee has been focusing on organic agriculture for the last three years and already has organic certification for one of their three sites in Guji (Shakiso washing station). Based on our last visit, it appears almost all production in Ethiopia is organic by default. This is very different to many other producing regions, especially in Latin America, where fumigation and chemical fertilizer are more used.