Zombo Coffee Partners
Zombo Coffee is a speciality coffee company working with smallholder farmers in Uganda. Their home is on the banks of the River Nile and borders The Democratic Republic of Congo.
Our ambition with Zombo Coffee Partners is to make the West Nile region a world-renowned coffee origin.
Join us on this journey!
About Zombo Coffee Partners
Zombo Coffee Partners are a hybrid of a private company, cooperative, milling station, NGO and exporter. They are focused on forming close relationships with smallholder farmers across the West Nile Region. Their guiding principles are to pay a fair price to farmers ensuring a sustainable livelihood. Sharing any profits with farmers every year as well as offering shares in their business to the farming groups that they work with.
This unique approach ensures that farmers are included in any decisions about the coffee they produce and ultimately see benefit from the proceeds of international sales of their coffees.
Our Partner Micro Stations
For many years, a separate registered cooperative society had stopped trading the coffee of its members. In 2017, those farmers broke away and teamed up with Zombo’s development partner (AFCE) and constructed a new micro station within the boundaries of Zombo Town. The specialist equipment and materials for this project came from Oxfam, matched by farmer contributions of land and time.
In 2015, Oxfam Uganda and Twin UK partnered up to produce a micro-station in 2 months, which enabled them to produce a small volume of high-quality coffee. They sold this high scoring coffee to Atlas Coffee Importers in Seattle, as well as additional coffee sourced from Leda and Pamitu micro stations.
Gonyobendo was created by the Nile Highland Arabica Coffee Farmers Association initially, supplied with just a pulper by USAID. They started by supplying a single multinational exporter. In 2018, Gonyobendo began working with Zombo Coffee Partners to improve the reach of its members coffee.
Sustainable farming with transparent pricing.
Micro Station Model
Zombo offers a personal touch, working with 8 coffee micro stations where the farmers build, own, operate and supply cherry to them. Building this miniature central coffee washing station is well within the means of a small group of farmers to construct and manage, with a minimum amount of external support required.
The purpose of this initiative is to give smallholders ownership over increasing quality, consistency ultimately increasing selling price of their coffee. This will then maximise their income and let them participate meaningfully in the coffee value chain.
The Micro Station Principles
Specialty coffee production at the level of the village group of between 50 and 250 farmers.
The members organise and contribute the resources to build the microstation framework (drying shed and tables, quality table, coffee store) themselves.
Equal farmer contribution
Each farmer makes a roughly equal contribution to the micro station by land, labour, construction, materials or cash.
Members appoint a manager and operate the micro station themselves with voluntary or paid labour, most often a combination of both.
Increased farmer profitability
Micro stations produce taste profiles which are sold at premium prices that give farmers a better income for the coffee their smallholding produces. Cherry is bought from the farmers at above local market prices.
The company provides the micro station management with an interest-free investment loan in the form of production equipment and materials, as well as interest-free crop and operational pre-finance.
Micro stations have the option to invest in the ZCP company on behalf of their members (target is 49% farmer-ownership by 2028).
Reward for quality
50% of all cup score premiums received for each microlot sold goes back direct to the individual farmer – cash in hand and according to their relative volume contribution – as additional income to the cherry price payment.
Review the 2020 Zombo Annual Report
A beautiful report highlighting Zombo's business impact and attained goals throughout 2020.
Meaningful relationships with farmers
Anesie is a 60-year-old widow with 11 children, 3 boys and 8 girls.
The land she farms was inherited through her late husband from the ‘Kings of the past’. In total she has planted 606 coffee trees that in her most recent harvest yielded a total of 800kg of cherries that she brought to the Migoti Coffee station to be processed.
Rugembe Hill, Burundi
Masereka Obed is a father, husband, mentor, lead-farmer and the elder responsible for his cooperative. His farm is nestled in the mountains about 1200 m.a.s.l, however, he works much higher in conjunction with the buying centre coordinating collection of coffee from other farmers in his group.