|Ejo Heza General Assembly at KOPAKAMA Mushubati station, Nov. 30, 2018|
Each woman received $.136/lb green coffee sold by Artisan Coffee Imports. They receive cash in their hand, calculated based on two factors:
1. the KG of cherry they delivered from their "own trees" from near their home, and
2. their share, according to the days of work they contributed to the Ejo Heza cooperative plots of land.
This 'second payment' comes on top of the $1.078/lb green they receive as the 'first payment' or base price for their cherry. In other words, roasters who buy Ejo Heza helped those farmers have 13% bonus, a total of $1.214/lb green. For this, they are grateful, as you can see in this video of them dancing and singing!
The 'first payment' the farmer receives is the larger of the two and an important signal to the farmers of how much the washing station is willing to pay to attract the farmer's loyalty, and also a signal of what quality level the washing station requires. Washing stations that expect more selective sorting prior to delivering cherry will pay more than those stations that don't care and buy everything.
|Farmers bring cherry to the washing station to sell - usually transporting by foot.|
|Weighing cherry - preferably within 6 hours of it being picked from the tree.|
|A farmer watches as her Kgs of cherry and the corresponding price are recorded.|
|Ejo Heza members sort cherry harvested from their community field on a Tuesday - the day for women's coffee.|
The second payment from a cooperative is solidifies the loyalty of the farmers, and is the way the cooperatives shares it's 'profits' after costs and revenues for the year have been finalized. The timing of the payments can be a benefit to farming households as they come 6 months after the season has ended, when cash may be low.
|Proceedings at the Ejo Heza general assembly, 2018.|
Received 53,000 Frw (~ $60) premium from Artisan. "I was able to buy three bags of cement and put pavement in the floor of one room - the dining room of my home. ...I want to improve the taste of our coffee so that we can continue to develop.”
Received premium of 12,400 Frw (~ $14). "I bought chickens and hired a person to help me weed the coffee (and the beans?). I got the money when it was a ‘bad situation’ (poverty and hunger) in our community. It helped my family very much."
Received premium of 55,000 Frw (~$62). "It helped me to buy another cow from which I can use the manure to fertilize coffee."
These amounts of cash mentioned above can be verified in the list of 320 names showing that each woman signed for their premium on October 31, 2017. (Click here to request the list.) The premium from every roaster is impacting these women’s lives. They are motivated to work with us as we explain new tasks and efforts we’d like them to try to improve quality and consistency...and avoid potato-taste defect.