Fero Cooperative is located near the town of Yirgalem in Sidamo, Ethiopia and is a member of the greater Sidama Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union.
The cooperative and coffee are Fairtrade Certified and Organic Certified. There are currently 3674 members of Fero. The word ‘Fero’ comes from the word for a strong metal and represents the producers united and working together, forming a strong bond, and making a big difference in their community.
Bean There Coffee Company has been purchasing coffee from Fero Coop since 2008 and have visited the community several times to meet with coop leaders and producers. When Bean There purchases coffee from Fero Coop the market price is paid, plus a quality-related premium, the Organic premium, and the Fairtrade premium.
The cooperative is managed and operated by 12 elected officials and elections take place every three years. A general meeting takes place annually to discuss issues and to decide how the Fairtrade premium is to be used. The coop leaders have done an exceptional job in building trust with the producers and functioning in a transparent way. The farmers choose to sell their cherries to Fero because they know the coop will look after their needs, provide pre-finance, assist with production, provide training, and ensure the best price for their coffee is received.
As a community, the Fero Coop chooses how to spend the social development portion of the Fairtrade premium. In 2005 they established electricity in the area; in 2007 they built classrooms at five district schools; in 2008 and 2009 they built an office block for training and administration; and they are currently saving their premiums to bring drinking water to the community.
The Ethiopia Sidamo coffee continues to be Bean There’s best seller. Fero Cooperative and Bean There Coffee Company enjoy a strong trading relationship to the point where Fero puts coffee aside specifically for Bean There ensuring there is a steady flow of top quality Ethiopia Sidamo coffee in South Africa. We look forward to many more years of trading fairly with the people of Fero.