RA certifies in Africa

by JulieCraves on September 21, 2006

Rainforest Alliance has announced its first certification for coffee outside Latin America, certifying a group of 678 farms in the Djimmah region of Ethiopia, according to a report in Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.

RA’s certification requirements are not focused on, but do include, environmental criteria.  They are not as stringent as the Smithsonian’s Bird Friendly criteria when it comes to preserving biodiversity.  But as the only sustainability certification available (aside from organic certification) outside of the Americas, this is a welcome development.

Djimmah is in the southwest part of Ethiopia, and its beans are not as well known as Harrar, Sidamo, and Yirgacheffe (which is in the Sidamo region).  Djimmah beans tend to be of mixed varieties, and are sometimes low grade (different sizes, a lot of defects) and thus hard to roast evenly.  These beans can be wild or gamey, are most often used in blends, and quality varies. I’ve heard it called the most lowly of Ethiopian coffees.  There are certified organic coops and farms in the other, more popular, growing regions, so perhaps this RA certification will give the Djimmah a needed boost in visibility, a marketing point, and that may lead to an increase in quality as well.

Revised on November 28, 2020

Posted in Certifications,Coffee regions,Rainforest Alliance

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