Tizita Bizuneh is Israel Degfa’s wife, a very successful producer that we have worked for a long time, owning many washing stations. Apart from the fact that Bonde Kochere is owned by her, the washing station is entirely run by woman managers. It is nearly impossible for Ethiopia to have the women in charge of the washing station and running the operations. The washing station collects cherries from the small farmers in the area.
The fair payment system implemented by Israel in his other washing stations works here as well. The way the payment system in Ethiopia works is that the government fixes the price every harvest. What Israel did was to implement a program with farmers that teach them to harvest better quality coffees (the red cherries) for premium prices. He will always buy the coffee cherries no matter what for a premium compared to governmental price- the better the quality, the bigger the premium. To control this project, he created a registration program for farmers: all of them have their membership number and keep a record of improvements, again to assure an ongoing relationship. He also offers microfinance for farmers wanting to improve the quality of coffees.
Farmers are paid in cash on delivery of the coffee and the ones that keep improving quality will receive an after payment, a few weeks later after the coffee is sold. Having this membership does not mean they have to exclusively sell to Israel, or in the case of this Wet Mill to Tizita, it only means they can keep track of each other and, they can access facilities such as schools and healthcare centers that they created.