Yachi Kachise is one of very few member cooperatives of what is now one of the best-known cooperative unions in the country: the Kata Muduga Multi-Purpose Farmers Cooperative Union. The union’s general manager is a trained agronomist previously employed as a quality and operations advisor with the Technoserve Coffee Initiative, the development project that is largely credited with helping the greater Jimma region reach its full coffee market potential.
Kata Muduga has been ballooning in both quality and membership in the past ten years. Yachi Kachise itself is a small but growing cooperative, beginning with only 35 members. As of this harvest there are 148 active members, 41 of which are women, all averaging 2 acres of land each and representing 1512 total coffee-dependent family members. The cooperative was among the first in Ethiopia to invest in resource-efficient fully washed processing back in the late aughts, which quickly put the Agaro region on the map and in the minds for buyers everywhere, many of whom had not experienced top quality coffees from outside the more famous southern zones.
The cooperative sits northwest of the city of Jimma, close to Agaro Town itself, part of a broad, sloping plateau of indescribable fertility and drastically high elevations—a precious combination that abounds in Ethiopia. This area is known among buyers for coffees with delicate florals and syrupy textures, and locally for the regional “white” honey, foraged by bees from coffee and forest blossoms in the area, which itself is an utter sensory delight.
Kata Muduga is a union of only four cooperatives: Duromina, Yukro, Nano Challa, and Yachi Kachise. This pales in comparison to union memberships like those of Sidama (53 primary coops) or Yirgacheffe (28 primary coops), but like a truly boutique brand, Kata Muduga coffees have been considered among the best in the country for ten years, and at this point their reputations alone, paired with their relative scarcity in volume, stoke intense possessiveness among cuppers.
Yachi Kachise is Organic and Rain Forest Alliance Certified, and in addition to its annual dividend cash payments to member farmers, continuously invests in clean water supply infrastructure to its community.