Guji Zone, EthiopiaPartnered with Stumptown
Ethiopia HeirloomProcessing techniques
1700-1900 MetersOn Our Menu
For the last two decades, Haile Gebre’s leadership in the Guji highlands has helped put the region on the map as an origin for quality coffee.
Haile Gebre owns and operates two farms and a washing station under the Mordecofe name, short for ‘Mora Mora River Valley Development Coffee’. Haile grew up around coffee before entering a career in public service – from a post in the Ethiopian navy, to working for the Ministry of Land Reform, to championing cooperatives as the Governor of the Oromia region. In 2001, Haile left his government post and returned home to cultivate coffee on his family's land in the highland forests of Southern Ethiopia. He began giving seedlings out to his neighbors, betting on the future of coffee in the area.
Stumptown started purchasing coffee from Haile and Mordecofe in 2006. Today, Haile grows coffee organically on over 600 hectares of land, and his washing station also processes cherry for 380 neighboring outgrowers. Mordecofe provides these farmers with new seedlings and extensive education on harvesting, cherry selection, and organic agricultural practices. At the washing station, permanent staff members offer practical experience in coffee production, processing, and harvesting.
"Let us grow together," is one of Mordecofe's core principles. To Haile this means providing services and proper payment to his workers and outgrowers, which helps the greater organization succeed. But this idea of shared growth also applies to Haile's leadership in Guji more broadly. Since Haile started planting coffee here in the early 2000s, the area has exploded and become known for quality. Dozens of new washing stations and dry mills have been established, and 10 million coffee trees are being planted annually. Several producers who were previously Mordecofe outgrowers are now processing coffee themselves – our partner Tesfaye Bekele of Suke Quto is one of those. At one time all this coffee was sold under the “Sidamo” name. But now, thanks to leaders like Haile, Guji coffees have their own designation – a meaningful recognition of the work that went into the area and the exquisite coffees produced there.
The strides made in quality production and organic practices are a legacy of their own – but Haile's vision for Mordecofe is ever expanding. In 2017 Haile built a state-of-the-art dry mill in Addis Ababa where coffee is carefully processed, sorted, and stored. The mill houses a beautiful cupping lab and an innovative parchment processing technology. All of the dust and parchment that gets produced during dry milling is collected and turned into fuel logs which can then be sold. Still in the works is an impressive 7-story building where Haile plans on housing an improved office, a restaurant for workers, as well as a supermarket and bank. In recent years, Haile’s daughters have taken on active roles in the operation, ensuring Mordecofe remains a family business long into the future.
Stumptown is proud to partner with Haile Gebre and offer Mordecofe's exceptional coffee each year.