Denbi Uddo School Project
What is it?
For each bag we sell we will donate £1 in to a fund to buy the children of the Denbi Uddo school some text books, pens and paper. These basic essentials are really important and much needed.
Denbi Uddo is a small town near the Jigesa Coffee Mill in the Guji Zone of Ethiopia. The school is a short drive from the Mill and the export company Testi have carried out a lot of work in building the school. When I visited in 2017 Adam from Testi was really excited to show us the school myself and other roasters on the trip wanted to donate or help in any way we could which lead us on to this idea for the 2018 harvest from Denbi Uddo.
Ethiopia Sourcing Trip 2017
Before the winter holidays last year we were given the opportunity to visit Ethiopia the harvest was just starting to be honest the trip was less choosing coffees and more educational. The driving force behind this was the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange regulations were being changed. This essentially means superb quality coffees can now be sold with more traceability.
Traceability was controlled and coffee had to be put in regional groups and often town names, mills and producers got swallowed up and the direct traceability which we crave at Round Hill was lost. This never stopped us buying coffees as quality has always been high but now we can sell with true confidence that our coffees are ACTUALLY 100% from this mill, town or producer.
This post is mainly about the school which we visited.
Personally this trip really resonated with me for a few reason; ethiopian coffee is what drew me into the coffee world and what truly excited me about coffee is the farms and the people who run, work and live around them. I really enjoy the human element in the supply chain and I believe there is more value in relationships than there is in almost any other part of the line.
The drive from Addis to the producing areas of Yirgacheffe, Sidamo and Guji is long... very long. We broke our journey in Awasa and this was our base for the 4 days we were there.
Our first visit was to Jigesa but before we went to the wet mill our exporter Adam said we should visit the school they have been building first. These areas of Ethiopia are extremely rural and almost all families are farming in some capacity. This is typical of Ethiopia and most of East African coffee farming. Communities are tribal and the sense of community is strong. It is hard to block out the poverty and the reliance on the value held for coffee.
I must state here that we always pay a huge premium for quality coffees and the high quality coffees benefit the communities hugely!
Myself and all the other roasters on the trip felt we couldn't visit a school without a gift so we pooled the cash we had (not much contactless card action here) and went in search of a stationery shop.
The store we found was closed :(
However after a short wait our store owner came running :)
These gifts were hugely popular and we felt that they were going to the most worthy local cause. I have attached some more photographs taken by my buddy Paul Haworth from Cartel Coffee Lab and some from me.
If you would like more info on this project please contact me Eddie Twitchett.
Round Hill Roastery is a small business but we hope we can generate some funds to help these children when they return to school in a few weeks.
Thank you for your support