Located in the Wonsho District of the Sidama Zone, Ethiopia, Fero Cooperative was established in 1975 and reorganized in 1998. It Joined the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU) in 2005.
For many years Fero has been recognized as a model organization, for its leadership, its sound management and governance and the quality of its coffee.
Upon walking into the Fero offices, you can see the awards granted to the organization lining the shelves. Fero is an organization where staff has been empowered to lead membership. Managers of the organization offer workshops to their farmers on financial management of the farm, how to save and invest premium payments, focusing on an entrepreneurial approach to farm management.
The cooperative is also recognized for the impact it has had in its community. The cooperative has built four “blocks” (school rooms) in every primary school in each of the five "kebeles", or villages, it has members in. They also provide awards such as tools and other farm implements to model farmers. They offer material support to government agronomists, providing stationary and tools for workshops implemented with members and community at large.
Quality-wise, Fero has been consistently awarded for excelling at the ECX and its another reason why they’ve been recognized as a model organization. Year by year, over 80% of its production is graded "Grade 1" by the ECX.
Because of its reputation and benefits, the cooperative has been growing in membership over the years.
Although Cooperative Coffees has worked with Sidama Union since 2009, in 2011 we decided to focus on Fero's coffee because of the excellent quality and consistency of the coffee.