On the 10th April 2019, our Sustainable Sourcing Manager, Pascale Schuit, accepted an award in Boston on behalf of the whole Union team on our work in Yayu, Ethiopia, on preserving one of the last remaining wild coffee forests. This work also focuses on improving livelihoods and incomes in the area, as well as protecting the biodiversity of the forest.
The SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) Sustainability Award celebrates innovative individuals, projects, and businesses supporting sustainable growth in the coffee industry through collaborative partnerships that pursue equity, prioritise mutual benefits, and result in positive impact throughout the coffee supply chain.
‘Projects such as Yayu are fundamental for our business model at Union, working together with producers to improve the quality of coffee and livelihoods, with a tailored approach to individual farms and producer partners. We’re honoured to receive this award and to be contributing to the long-term future of arabica coffee in the world.’
Steven Macatonia, co-founder of Union Hand-Roasted Coffee
We wanted to share the acceptance speech from Pascale, extending our heartfelt thank you for all of you drinking our Yayu coffee;
Union Hand-Roasted Coffee want to thank SCA and their organisation and to all who have voted for us. It is an honour to have won the SCA 2019 Sustainability Award.
It is also an opportunity to remember that we need to create viable strategies that include financial incentives to farmers in order to protect genetic diversity of coffee arabica, and the supply of high-quality arabica coffee
Achieving sustainable trade through the production of specialty coffee is the central philosophy of Union Hand-Roasted, which is demonstrated by this project.
This project would not have been possible without the Darwin Initiative; a UK government grant scheme that protects the biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide. The grant we obtained through Kew Royal Botanic Gardens has allowed us to make a change in the lives of farmers in Ilu Babor and simultaneously preserving biodiversity.
Our special thanks go out to:
All the farmers, but especially the board of directors of Wutete, Achibo, Geri, Getschi, and Yayu Zuria Cooperative who grow coffee near Yayu Biosphere Reserve – especially Eshetu, our right hand on the field
Wutete school and their teachers, for giving us a place to build a cupping lab for the community, who share our visions of gender equality and the importance of female participation
Aaron Davis, of The Botanic Gardens, Kew, who approached us because he believed Union Hand-Roasted Coffee was the right company to collaborate within this project
Graciano Cruz, from HiU Coffees Panama who trained the farmers, as an advocate of quality he implemented practical farmer to farmer trainings
All the café customers and home consumers, who make this all possible by buying the delicious coffee from Yayu.
If you'd like to read more about our work in Yayu, please do have a read here.
We hope you keep enjoying the delicious Yayu coffee!