Mitarbeiter lächelt bei der Kaffee Ernte in Äthiopien

Commitment in the country of origin

Greener. Stronger. More sustainable.

The story of Dallmayr coffee begins in Ethiopia: in the early 1960s, Konrad Werner Wille – the founding father of today’s coffee business – travelled to Ethiopia in search of special green coffees. In the original home of coffee, the “coffee pioneer” discovered coffee beans of extraordinary quality – beans that continue to define the flavour of our coffee varieties today.

Together with “Menschen für Menschen” for Ethiopia

Coffee from Ethiopia is incredibly important to Dallmayr. That’s why we feel a special bond towards the country and provide long-term support, together with the “Menschen für Menschen” foundation. We regularly visit Ethiopia to see the coffee and progress of our project work for ourselves. By helping people to help themselves, we are improving the living situation of the local population in Ethiopia and are boosting people’s prospects for the future.

The original home of the coffee bean

Ethiopia is one of the world’s most important coffee-growing countries. The East African country is home to several of the finest coffee varieties. Coffees such as “Sidamo” or “Yirgacheffe” are among the most sought-after varieties for coffee buyers around the world. However, that hasn’t always been the case. Around 90 years ago, when the young Bremen merchant Konrad Werner Wille was establishing the Dallmayr coffee department, the entire Ethiopian coffee harvest consisted of just seven sacks. He wasted no time in importing them to Germany. The coffee pioneer travelled through Ethiopia himself for the first time in the 1960s – an arduous journey that involved him travelling on the back of a donkey. In the fertile southern provinces of Sidamo and Harrar – the original home of coffee – he discovered beans of extraordinary quality. Konrad Werner Wille recognised their potential and made his first business contacts. For a long time, Dallmayr purchased the entire Ethiopian coffee harvest. Even today, the country’s highland arabica beans continue to define the characteristic flavour of Dallmayr coffee.

More than 54 million tree seedlings

Since 2008, we have been supporting the reforestation programmes of the “Menschen für Menschen” foundation. To date, we have the donated more than 54 million tree seedlings.* These trees would cover an area about the size of 4,000 football pitches.
* Last updated: July 2023

Two children planting a tree in EthiopiaLogo Menschen für Menschen – Karlheinz Böhm’s Ethiopian aid initiative
Pupils at a school in Ethiopia

Dallmayr school for 1,000 children

In September 2018, together with the “Menschen für Menschen” foundation, we began work on a further project: the construction of a Dallmayr school for more than 1,000 children aged 7 to 16. The school is located in the project area of Dano – around 200 kilometres west of the capital Addis Ababa. The people there live in very modest conditions, predominantly from farming and cattle breeding. By building the school and providing all of the equipment, such as furniture, school materials and books, we are supporting the children on their path to a better future. The construction of three new classroom blocks, an administrative building with a reading room, and two buildings with sanitary facilities was completed in summer 2020 and opened in spring 2021.

Clean drinking water for 3,400 people

Our project to construct wells was funded by the sale of Ethiopian coffee during sustainability promotions with our trading partners. As a result, the strenuous and dangerous task of fetching water from far-away sources is no longer necessary and around 3,400 people* now benefit directly from 25 wells of various design.
* Last updated: July 2023

Well construction in Ethiopia
Tree seedlings from a tree nursery in Dano

Developing a coffee cooperative

With a new coffee region and coffee cooperative, we are creating long-term prospects and permanent jobs for people in Dano, where the project is taking place. There, the local people farm coffee at altitudes of 1,500 to 2,500 metres, exclusively for the local market. Together with the “Menschen für Menschen” foundation, we are providing further impetus for coffee cultivation in the region and are developing a sustainable coffee cooperative.
The trees in Dano may still be young, but there is huge potential. The land stretches across a high plateau and is ideal for cultivating coffee. Development is initially scheduled to run for three years and is also supported by the German federal state of Bavaria.

Better all around

“We are taking a holistic development approach that considers all aspects of sustainability. Our support for the area’s reforestation programmes has already helped to lay the foundations for a fertile coffee-growing region. By building the new Kekero Jibat Higher Primary School, we are supporting education and social development in the region, while the coffee cooperative and its coffee infrastructure will help to create long-term prospects for the local people.
We received the German Award for Sustainability Projects in 2021 – which confirms that we are on the right track with our project work at the coffee origin.”

Julia Dengler, member of executive management

Julia Dengler holding the Award for Sustainability Projects in 2021