Gora coffee bean sorting

Improving the livelihoods of coffee farmers in Ethiopia

IKEA’s commitment to enabling social change by creating livelihoods for people who need it most goes hand in hand with our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people.

Since 2012 IKEA has been creating jobs for people through Social Entrepreneurship because we want to have a positive impact on people’s lives, supporting positive economic, environmental, and social development. IKEA has initiated a collaboration with the social business Gora coffee by Moyee Ethiopia. The company delivers organic and socially responsibly produced coffee to be sold at IKEA stores and restaurants.

Ethiopia is the largest roaster in Africa and has a population of about 110 million people. 1 out of 5 livelihoods in the country depend on coffee, which means 25-30 million people's livelihoods rely on coffee farming. However, the coffee industry is at least partly responsible for many human rights issues such as poverty, child labour, poor working conditions as well as environmental damage.

Through our partnership with Gora Coffee, IKEA works with pioneers who use their business as a way to put people first, along with equal rights and community engagement.

Gora Coffee is FairChain coffee, a business model that creates a fairer distribution of returns in the production chain for all those involved – farmers, plantation workers, processing units and others involved at various stages. Gora Coffee has adopted the FairChain concept by roasting, mixing and packaging coffee beans in Ethiopia instead of letting them go to other regions like the U.S. and Western Europe, which is a common practice. This business model helps retain the value of "value-added activities" in Ethiopia and helps make farms profitable and better wages for the farmers.

Putting people and planet first  

The company has a direct relationship from farm gate to roasting, with no middlemen involved. The coffee beans are sourced directly from 1,800 registered smallholder farmers and processed by people who need the jobs most. Gora Coffee has fewer middle players, around 2-3, whereas the conventional business model has 8 layers. This means that Gora Coffee makes a positive livelihood impact by paying the farmers 20 per cent higher than the conventional market. Additionally, 48 per cent of their employees are women, who typically have no access to job opportunities or get poor monetary compensation due to gender discrimination.

Gora also focuses on sustainability and better care for the environment. It supports its farmers through different training programs to safeguard the quality of the coffee. In simple words, Gora Coffee helps its farmers get a good yield by making sure the beans are shade-grown, that the soil gets proper nutrients, and pollution-free water is used.

As a result of the partnership with IKEA, over 500 small scale certified farm holders will gain livelihood opportunities in the first year alone (2022). The impact and opportunities will further go up in future. We hope to grow this to 3,000 farmers by 2025, impacting 6,000 more people in the community.