Idido is a private washing station located just north of the town of Yirga Chefe, in the heart of the coveted Gedeo Zone—the narrow section of highland plateau dense with savvy farmers and fiercely competitive processors whose coffee is known the world over as “Yirgacheffe”. The Gedeo region is named after the Gedeo people who are indigenous to this area. As a coffee terroir, Yirgacheffe has for decades been considered a benchmark for beauty and complexity in arabica coffee—known for being beguilingly ornate and jasmine-like when fully washed, and seductively punchy and sweet when sundried--and hardly requires an introduction.
The Idido station is privately-owned and not affiliated with the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU). It was established in 1998 and has been owned and operated by Ranger Industry and Trading PLC since 2017. Idido’s contributing farmers number over 800, and average about four acres of farmland each. Their fully washed lots are floral and brisk, the result of careful fermenting, sorting, and drying routines executed to perfection throughout the dramatic temperature fluctuations of Yirgacheffe’s unique high-elevation climate. Coffees are typically dried for 10-15 days on raised beds and frequently covered
during the hottest hours of the afternoon, when solar radiation is at its most intense and threatens to split the coffee’s brittle parchment layer.
Idido contributes financially to local schools each harvest to support their farmers’ families. Additionally, after finished coffees are sold, the team at Ranger Industry and Trading PLC distributes a second payment of 1 birr per kilogram of cherry to each farmer, a profit share equivalent to an additional 5-8% of smallholder revenue for the harvest season.
Private processors like Idido are a thing to behold. It’s a tough business being a private processor in Gedeo, as the sheer density of competition among washing stations tends to push cherry prices as high as double throughout a single harvest, and privates often don’t have the backing of a larger union to secure financing, regulate cherry prices, or bring export costs down with centralized milling and marketing. Successful private washing stations like Idido, then, need to be not only standout quality processors to stay afloat; they must also be excellent business developers with connections and community standing, in order to continue winning the business of farmers and buyers alike, and stay afloat for the long term.