Dear Green and The Stumping Project
Let’s face it, without the incredible people who produce our delicious beans, Dear Green simply wouldn’t exist. That’s why we’ve strived to support people in coffee right along the supply chain, from day one. After all, what’s the use in great coffee, if the people producing it aren't being valued and supported.
There are many ways in which we’re working to ensure fairness across the supply chain, but today, we’re here to talk about one in particular - The Stumping Project, a Falcon Coffee and Technoserve initiative with Daye Bensa Cooperative in Ethiopia.
But what is tree stumping? And how does this benefit the coffee industry? Grab a brew and allow us to explain.
What is tree stumping?
Quite simply, tree stumping involves cutting the roots of the tree out of the ground once a tree has fallen. This process helps to prevent suckering and fungal root rot. Although tree stumps are often large and heavy, they can easily be removed with the right equipment and technique.
When it comes to coffee production, stumped trees deliver increased yields and better quality coffee, which can ultimately contribute to providing a living income for coffee farmers around the globe. Stumping coffee trees is the most critical step to improving yields and quality and is a prerequisite to achieving the impact of additional good agricultural practices (GAPs).
Sounds great right? We agree! That’s why we’ve signed up to support The Stumping Project. Now, let us tell you a little more about this special project and what makes it so great.
The Stumping Project
The Stumping project is a scheme that aims to increase coffee productivity in Ethiopia, by rejuvenating old tree stumps. Whilst this may sound like a no-brainer to the average coffee lover, smallholder coffee farmers are reluctant to stump primarily due to the immediate, acute, and short-term loss of income for 1.5 years while their tree stems regrow.
This is where The Stumping Project comes in. The project aims to provide incentives for these Ethiopian farmers, sponsoring them to encourage increased stumping rates - and a higher coffee yield in the long term.
Now let’s talk about some results
To support the work of The Stumping Project, a two-year pilot project conducted by TECHNOSERVE (an international development nonprofit) demonstrated the positive impact that sponsored tree-stumping can achieve. This pilot concluded that if farmers can be persuaded and incentivized to stump old trees, they can achieve the following outcomes over a three-year period:
- After one harvest without production, these stumped trees will return to yields at 70% of pre-stumped levels in the second year.
- In the following year’s harvest, these trees will have the potential to produce between two and four times more cherries for the next six years
The proof really is in the pudding. Check out what coffee farmer Tigist Wube had to say about her stumping experience.
“When I visit my farm, I am proud of the decision I made; it is a life-changing decision. It brought real success to my life. I have never harvested so much coffee on my farm!”
During the 2019 harvest season, Tigist harvested 2,500kg of red cherries from the stumped trees, a huge increase from the 500kg harvest before she stumped in 2016. She expects to produce at least 7,500kg next year.
We’re delighted to be able to support this amazing initiative and help Ethiopian coffee producers thrive. We couldn’t imagine a world without the good stuff and are always on the lookout for ways we support the people and projects that are moving the industry forward. Interested in learning about some of the other projects and initiatives that we support? Click right here.
Whilst you’re here, why not treat yourself to some delicious, freshly roasted beans. We’ve got some real special coffees in store for you this month including the Odaco who’s producers work with the Daye Bensa cooperative and are supported by the Stumping Project.