Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union
The Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU) is an Ethiopian agricultural cooperative federation, established in June 1999, representing approximately 102,950 coffee growers, processors, and exporters of the Oromia Region of southern and western Ethiopia. OCFCU started with 34 cooperatives and $90,000 USD in capital. Its first exports amounted to 72 metric tons and $130,000. Today, its exports have grown to 7,000 metric tons and sales exceeding $40 million. In 2014 OCFCU represented 240 cooperatives with 250,000 members.  They grow coffee of the arabica species exclusively, and produce both conventionally grown and organically grown beans. The union has chosen to bypass many of the middlemen that characterize the international coffee trade, sorting, roasting, and exporting its own coffee rather than simply growing and picking it the way most other Ethiopian coffee farmers do. The union returns 70 percent of its gross profits to its cooperatives.[dead link]
According to the OCFCU's website, the union's goals are as follows:
- To improve the farmer's income by exporting their coffee
- To maintain the quality of coffee production
- To improve and maintain the sustainability of the coffee industry
- To improve the quality and productivity of Ethiopian coffee
- To regulate and stabilize local markets
- To provide farmers and clients with reliable service
Meskela and the OCFCU are featured in the 2006 documentary film Black Gold.
- Seager, Ashley. Starbucks stirred by fair trade film. The Guardian. 29 Jan. 2007.
- "Black Gold" illustrates coffee farmers' plight. Oxfam 21 Dec. 2007.
- Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union official site
- Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union official page from Oxfam site
- Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union page
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