Every coffee has a story to tell, but some of them stand out thanks to their protagonist.
The 31st Microfarm Project takes its name from Haile Gebrselassie, the owner, and also grower of the farm where this limited-edition coffee comes from, to inspire with the values that it stands for.
Haile is a champion runner, a two-time Olympic and four-time World Champion with dozens of victories and world records for distances greater than 1,500 meters up to marathons, while he remains the world record holder for 20,000 meters. Born in Arsi Province, Ethiopia in 1973, the famous runner was one of ten children in his family and had to run 10 km every morning to go to school. Although he had asthma he ran so fast that he soon joined the Ethiopian National Team.
The rest is a story written in the streets all over the world, where Haile Gebrselassie competed under his country flag, demonstrating that nothing is impossible – indeed the press once described him as “a man from another planet”. When it was time to retire from competitive sport in 2015, he decided to move back to Ethiopia and take up coffee farming, continuing the family tradition, given that his parents were farmers too. The aim of this return was to offer as much help as possible to his home country, where poverty and adversity are commonplace, and to help in every possible way to create job opportunities and better living conditions. “Despite the allure of travelling to beautiful countries around the world, I chose to stay and invest in Ethiopia and I am happy with this choice.”
All of us at Coffee Island, express our commitment in every way by staying true to our values. Values that are our backbone and our primary concern in every action we take regarding people, society and the environment. We actively help local communities, we take steps to reduce our environmental footprint and we are committed to quality and safe products. We continue to work with dedication for all that makes the world a better place and we are proud that through our new Microfarm Project we can tell the story of Haile Gebrselassie and at the same time offer a coffee with distinctive characteristics that creates yet another coffee experience.
This coffee comes from the Masha region and the Haile Coffee Farm. There, Haile has transformed a 1500-hectare area that the Ethiopian government has donated to him into a unique coffee farm based on the principles of responsibility and sustainability. In fact, the 250 hectares of forest area remain untouched and have been designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. The farm employs 600 local farmers and its revenues have financed the construction of two schools.
Now all of Haile’s interest has turned to the production, management and export of specialty Arabica coffee produced in small quantities, which is why this coffee is unique! The whole farm system is run in the best interest of the local people and by prioritising the development of the local community. “You need three things to win: discipline, hard work and dedication. No one succeeds without them,” says Haile and this applies to both his sporting career and his activity in the coffee business.
The rich soil, the microclimate of the region and frequent rainfall create the ideal conditions for the production of the precious beans that are full of peach, pink grapefruit and cocoa notes. A taste experience that has just arrived at Coffee Island and you will enjoy it even more, as with each sip it brings you closer to high values concerning sport, willpower and life itself.
After all, the idea of Olympism combines the virtues of body and soul and inspires the whole world through the values of excellence, friendship and peace. The 31st Microfram Project proves that when sport serves people, it can lead to the creation of a harmonious society where everyone enjoys equal opportunities. Haile Gebrselassie is the President of the Ethiopian Sports Federation and volunteers as a mentor and ambassador for projects that provide support to 14 athletes. He starred in the biopic “Endurance” (1999) and his story remains a source of inspiration. This is a story we tell the way we know best, through a cup of coffee that tastes like no other.