Located far in the West of Ethiopia in an area known as Limu Kossa, farmer & landowner – Gidey Berhe Retta – grows coffee on a 350 hectare farm at between 1,840-2,130 metres above sea level. The land was once wild forest but has been respectfully & carefully manicured to accommodate the coffee. A feeling of quiet solitude pervades amongst the native trees & there is a truly magical feeling on this coffee plantation. Almost serene; quite fitting considering that it’s the birthplace of our Choc-Cherry Decaffalon.
Although meticulously maintained to the highest of standards, there is something mysterious & rather charming about Gidey’s farm. As you wander through the manicured trees on which the deep-red coffee cherries grow, monkeys suspend like circus performers, dangling jestfully from the branches above, giving the farm a feeling of being in the midst of the wilderness. Worn, battered signage is used to identify the lots, adding to the charm of this rustic plantation & reminding visitors of the farm’s rich history & heritage.
Gidey’s farm also supports the ‘Girls Gotta Run Foundation’. GGRF is a non-profit organisation that empowers girls in Ethiopia through running and education. The UN Population Fund identified that early marriage is the most prevalent factor in cutting short the education of girls across all regions in Ethiopia. Although the government has outlawed marriage before the age of 18, 24% of girls are still taken out of school & married by the age of just 15. While most girls supported by GGRF do not become professional athletes, some do & the training given allows the girls to stay in school & avoid early marriage & pregnancy. In turn, this can enhance their personal economic opportunities and gives them a safe space to develop their sense of community, leaving them better equipped to face the challenges posed to them during their most vulnerable years.
Although a true Coffee Wanchor would scoff at the prospect of a decaf’ brew, just as much time, love & effort goes into the production of our Choco-Cherry Decaffalon as the beans that pack more of a caffeinated punch. So when you slurp this sWANKY brew, think of the magical place from which it once came & smile reassuringly, in the knowledge that you’re savouring part of something truly mystical, wild & wonderful, whilst also supporting a good cause.