Duromina is a relatively new cooperative in the Jimma region of Ethiopia. The name roughly translates as “to improve their lives” in the Afan Oromo language.
Farmers cultivate their coffee in small homesteads and on hillsides under the shade of dense canopies provided by indigenous Acacia trees. There is no use of chemicals for their coffee, making it completely natural.
Sorting the wet parchment at Duromina. Photo: Nordic Approach
The wet mill sources most of its water from a nearby uncontaminated river, with their supply fed by gravity. Waste water from processing is treated through planted vetiver grass and two large dugout lagoons. The pulp created during processing is mixed with soil to create compost and can be used as fertiliser.
Before establishing the Duromina cooperative, farmers had to transport their coffee crops to a wetmill on the other side of a valley, crossing a river which regularly flooded in harvest season. The quality of the farmer's crops was greatly reduced due to delays reaching the mill, sometimes forcing them to sell their crop unprocessed and at greatly reduced prices.
This change meant farmers no longer needed transportation to reach a mill, or were forced to sell unprocessed beans for a lower price. Just a year later in 2011, Duromina’s coffee was voted the best coffee in all of Africa.
Soon major international coffee roasters came to the Duromina, meeting with coffee farmers and paying an premium of at least 65% over the international commodity price.
The farmers used this additional income to improve their homes, expand the local school, and build a bridge to connect their village with the larger communities and markets across the river: they’re bringing their whole community with them on the journey out of poverty