Pascale, who is responsible for managing our farmer relationships was back out in coffee territory; she spends most of her year travelling and visiting producers on behalf of Union. She returned from Ethiopia, a very special coffee heartland, where she visited the Yayu Wild Forest.
One of the last remaining mountain forest fragments of Arabica Coffee (coffee arabica) in the world, the Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere in Ethiopia is vital for the preservation and conservation of coffee. To preserve and maintain its primary and secondary wild forest, and prevent any further damage to the forest or loss of coffee species, the local communities need to have other livelihood options as well as seeing a viable future for themselves in producing speciality coffee.
At Union, we are collaborating with Dr Aaron Davis, Head of Coffee Research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to work with the Yayu community to protect the forest and create a sustainable income for themselves. Pascale visited Yayu to evaluate how we would develop the project.