Within the 4Cities4Dev project, the Harenna Forest Wild Coffee Presidium community in Ethiopia is supported by the city of Bilbao. A delegation from the city visited the Presidium in November 2011, and members of the community attended Algusto in Bilbao in December 2011.
SLOW FOOD HARENNA FOREST WILD COFFEE PRESIDIUM
The Harenna Forest Wild Coffee Presidium was started in 2006 as part of a project run by the Italian Development Cooperation. The objectives include recognizing the value of a unique product of excellent quality (naturally dried wild forest coffee), shortening the distribution chain and protecting the equatorial mountain forest.
By supporting the work of the small-scale coffee gatherers and producers, it will be possible to increase the number of local people interested in protecting the forest from illegal logging and to create a network of guardians. The future of the mountain rainforest ecosystem depends on reaching a balance between the use and conservation of its resources.
In 2007, 64 producers took part in a training course on coffee harvesting and drying. In 2009 Presidium gatherers from different villages set up three registered associations.
The next steps will be to draw up a production protocol to ensure that harvesting and processing are carried out properly and to guarantee the quality of the final product. Producer skills will be developed through further training sessions, and facilities at the harvesting sites will be improved.
Coffee is native to Ethiopia, and the country is the only place in the world where coffee grows wild. For thousands of years Ethiopian families have roasted their own coffee beans, grinding them in a mortar and offering the drink to guests following a solemn ritual involving symbolic displays of hospitality, friendship and respect.
The preparation of coffee-an integral part of daily Ethiopian life-is a traditional ceremony covering all social classes: The guest is welcomed by a woman in charge and by a carpet of freshly cut grass and flowers spread before a small table holding the traditional small handle-less cups. The shelled coffee beans are washed and roasted until they are the right color and then shown to the guests. The aroma of the coffee permeates the air, wafted by delicate hand movements. The beans are ground in a mortar, then the powder is poured into a jabana, the traditional coffee pot, full of boiling water. The first coffee (abol), already sugared, is served to the oldest person, then the next two are made (tona and baraka), by adding water to the jabana as required. The three coffees are served with corn, wheat or toasted barley.
The Harenna forest, one of the largest in Ethiopia, is situated in the mountains of the magnificent Bale National Park, 350 km south of the capital Addis Abeba. Here, at an altitude of around 1,800 meters, Arabica coffee grows wild in the shade of tall trees. Its outstanding quality potential merits further study and development. Selling coffee is the main source of income for local small-scale farmers. The gatherers harvest the ripe berries by hand, often competing with the baboons who love to eat the fruit.
The berries do not require stripping or washing, crucial stages for the coffee from the Latin American Presidia. It is truly a "natural" coffee: After the berries are harvested they are simply dried in the sun on suspended nets.
The 4Cities4Dev films about Slow Food Presidia
Pokot Ash Yoghurt - Kenya
Harenna Forest Wild Coffee - Ethiopia
Fadiouth Island Salted Millet Couscous - Senegal
Slow Food - P.IVA 91008360041 - All rights reserved - Disclaimer