October 17, 2018

Preserving wild arabica and improving livelihoods

The Yayu Forest Reserve in Ethiopia is one of the last and most important remaining places for the conservation of wild Arabica coffee.

Wild coffee forests and surrounding forested areas are part of a coffee farming system that benefits livelihoods and nature conservation. We are working with the communities at Yayu to improve the quality of their coffee, which via Union Direct Trade means that better prices are paid to the farmer. If the coffee is worth more, the value of the forest also increases, providing an incentive for its preservation.

The Yayu Project - Coffee Cherries

The Yayu project

 Working together with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Darwin Initiative, and local partners, our aim is to:

  1. Improve the long-term livelihoods of coffee farmers at Yayu
  2. Protect the biodiversity of the forest, which is home to hundreds of plant and animal species, and important natural populations of Arabica coffee

The Yayu Project - Graciano helps with sorting

Updates on the project


Yayu project in detail

Our Union Direct Trade initiative is enhancing smallholder livelihoods, preserving a unique wild coffee biosphere, and improving the farms’ coffee quality. We’re excited to build sustainable relationships which motivate farmers to grow excellent coffee, and you get to enjoy a delicious, responsibly sourced cup full of exotic coffee flavours. Read More


Dr Aaron Davis, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

"We often hear about the negative impacts of growing coffee, such as deforestation, non-recyclable paper cups and even enforced labour, and sometimes about the positive benefits that coffee brings to farmers and their communities. But could we do more?" Read More


Yayu Forest by Pascale

"As a coffee geek, it’s hard to convey just how it feels to stand here, in primary forest in the birthplace of coffee. We observe hundreds of different heirloom varieties growing naturally in the wild. It’s pristine territory, mostly unaffected by human activities, and perfect for coffee. This natural landscape is a hotspot for biodiversity and is a significant conservation zone." Read More

A Farmer in the Yayu Wild Forest


Got Questions?

Follow us on social media, @unionroasted for updates on the project and tell us what you think of the Yayu Wild Forest Coffee. Get in Touch!

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