The information in this post was sourced from importer Trabocca B.V:
Located on a slope above the Mormora River, some 40km away from Shakiso, Faisal Abdush’s Mulish Station processes both stunning washed and natural coffees from 880 Guji smallholder farms in the surrounding area.
Despite the ancient varietals in the region, many of the processing stations in Guji are relatively new, as the Ethiopian government restricted access to the mineral-rich region to only existing residents up until about a decade ago.
Faisal’s first priority when setting up Mulish Station in 2014 was to serve his surrounding community. “Our outgrowers are our backbone” he says, explaining why his first project in the area was working with the local school to help build additional classrooms. Despite the difficult trek to bring their harvested cherries to Mulish for processing, the station’s central location prevents the local smallholders from needing to make a much longer journey over arduous terrain to bring their harvests to market.
Due to the relatively recent relaxation of government travel and residency restrictions for the Guji region, many of the smallholders are new to the area, some arriving from as far away as Harar. The Mulish Station offers agricultural training to help these newcomers adapt their farming to the unique environment in Guji, helping them improve their growing practices for higher quality, more sustainable crops.
In addition to coffee, many of the smallholders also raise cattle, harvest honey and other cash crops. These farms are dotted across the forested hills that overlook Mulish Station, most about 2,000 meters above sea level. Farmers planted three varietals of young coffee trees among the towering trees of these old growth forests: the disease-resistant type 4741, developed at the Jimma Research Center (JRC), and two indigenous strains from the region, all 3 well-suited to the environment in Guji. Each of these distinct coffees ripens at a slightly different time of year, and the station processes each separately.
Recent rising inflation rates in Ethiopia driven by surging food prices and the ongoing civil war in Tigray, combined with the relatively static price of coffee on the global market have made it difficult for Mulish Station to continue paying outgrowers the above-par rate he has maintained since opening in 2014. Faisal is currently seeking to bridge this widening gap by offsetting some of the outgrower’s living cost, primarily focusing on helping meet the needs of their children attending the community school.
Throughout these times of hardship, Mulish processed coffees continue to receive high grades and awards from the global coffee community.
The station also recently set up drying facilities for highly sought-after natural processed coffee which True North is proud to offer as our first batch of Mulish Station beans.
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"Mulish washing station, Guji zone" Trabocca, Trabocca B.V., https://www.trabocca.com/our-coffees/ethiopia/guji/mulish-washing-station/
"Ethiopia Inflation Rate" Trading Economics, Trading Economics, https://tradingeconomics.com/about-te.aspx