The Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere in Ethiopia is one of the last mountain forest fragments of Arabica Coffee in the world. To preserve and maintain its primary and secondary wild forest, and prevent further damage to the forest or loss of coffee species, it is vital that local communities have other livelihood options as well as seeing a viable future for themselves in producing specialty coffee.


Produced in collaboration with Union Coffee, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and The Darwin Trust in December 2016.

Ethiopian woman lying on red coffee cherry in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A coffee worker lies on a bed of coffee cherries in Yayu.

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A coffee worker lies on a bed of coffee cherries in Yayu.

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Ethiopian woman by yellow drying bed for red coffee cherry in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A coffee worker at a coffee bean drying station.

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A coffee worker at a coffee bean drying station.

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Ethiopian women by yellow drying coffee cherry in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Coffee workers stand by a coffee drying bed in Yayu, Ethiopia.

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Coffee workers stand by a coffee drying bed in Yayu, Ethiopia.

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Ethiopian coffee pickers by red cherry in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Coffee pickers remove unripe green coffee cherries.

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Coffee pickers remove unripe green coffee cherries.

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Ethiopian woman picking red coffee cherry from bush in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A coffee picker working on one of Yayu's farms

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A coffee picker working on one of Yayu's farms

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red coffee cherry growing in bush in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Yayu's wildforest coffee

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Yayu's wildforest coffee

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Ethiopian woman wearing white chador on the floor in jungle in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A coffee farm owner sits outside her home in Yayu, Ethiopia.

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A coffee farm owner sits outside her home in Yayu, Ethiopia.

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schoolchildren in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Schoolchildren in Yayu.

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Schoolchildren in Yayu.

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espresso coffee cup on rug in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Local coffee in Yayu.

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Local coffee in Yayu.

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Ethiopian coffee woman and baby in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A coffee worker and her child at a coffee farm in Yayu, Ethiopia.

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A coffee worker and her child at a coffee farm in Yayu, Ethiopia.

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Ethiopian coffee cooperative man standing in smoke  in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A coffee cooperative member in Yayu

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A coffee cooperative member in Yayu

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hijabi ethiopian woman by firelight at night in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A moment of calm after a traditional coffee ceremony at a farm in Yayu forest, Ethiopia. We drank their hand roasted coffee with the option of adding either sugar or salt (to soften the bitterness and acidity of the coffee) and burned frankincense powder that filled the air with plumes of fragrant smoke. 

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A moment of calm after a traditional coffee ceremony at a farm in Yayu forest, Ethiopia. We drank their hand roasted coffee with the option of adding either sugar or salt (to soften the bitterness and acidity of the coffee) and burned frankincense powder that filled the air with plumes of fragrant smoke. 

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Ethiopian farmers by moonlight at night in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Members of a coffee farm in Yayu review the quality of their coffee harvest.

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Members of a coffee farm in Yayu review the quality of their coffee harvest.

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boy standing on tree in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A schoolboy in Yayu, Ethiopia. Part of the development program is teaching the coffee growing process to children at school. Many of these children will grow up to work with coffee, so having an understanding from a young age is a big advantage for them

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A schoolboy in Yayu, Ethiopia. Part of the development program is teaching the coffee growing process to children at school. Many of these children will grow up to work with coffee, so having an understanding from a young age is a big advantage for them

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Ethiopian school boy on the floor in jungle in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A schoolboy in Yayu. Part of the development program is teaching the coffee growing process to children at school. Many of these children will grow up to work with coffee, so having an understanding from a young age is a big advantage for them

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A schoolboy in Yayu. Part of the development program is teaching the coffee growing process to children at school. Many of these children will grow up to work with coffee, so having an understanding from a young age is a big advantage for them

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Ethiopian men picking red coffee cherry in yayu wild forest Ethiopia by conservation photographer photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Coffee workers on a top quality producing farm in Ethiopia.

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Coffee workers on a top quality producing farm in Ethiopia.

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