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Haile's story

27

World Records

2

Olympic Titles

9

World Titles

Haile was an athlete ahead of his time.

Over a 25-year international career, he set 27 world records and won 2 Olympic and 9 World Championship titles. In 1995 he broke the 5,000m world record by a staggering 10.91 seconds. He broke the 10,000m world record on three separate occasions. And in Berlin in 2008 when he broke the marathon world record for a second time he became the first athlete ever to run under 2 hours and 4 minutes for the 42.195km distance.

Haile comes from a farming family and our coffee which comes from Haile’s farm in south-western Ethiopia celebrates his success as one of the world’s greatest ever distance runners.

Haile has also been hugely successful as a businessman.

Establishing his company Haile & Alem International in 1998 when still at the height of his fame as an athlete, Haile has since opened office buildings, gyms, cinemas, schools and a chain of luxury and resort hotels across Ethiopia. His agricultural business started in 2014 when he opened the Yeppo Coffee Spices & Honey Project near the town of Masha in what was the old region of Kaffa, a region in south-western Ethiopia that gives its name to the drink now enjoyed across the globe.

Haile is an inspiration for his people and for Ethiopia.

He works tirelessly to create more employment across his portfolio of businesses and at the same time always makes time for others, helping them to move forward with his eternally optimistic ‘can-do’ attitude.

From his days as a teenage athlete when he first appeared on the tracks of Europe, Haile is probably best remembered for his infectious smile and his ability to make you feel special.

Haile wants the best for his country Ethiopia and for his people.

As we present Haile’s coffee to runners and coffee lovers around the world, we draw on this same motivation, recognising that – in the words of a slogan attributed to him – everything “is possible.”

Haile’s Coffee Farm

Haile’s farm is situated near the town of Masha in south-western Ethiopia. Technically, the town is part of the Southern Nations (SNNPR) republic; in coffee terms, it is designated as the Jimma (or Djimma) coffee region, one of nine coffee-growing regions in Ethiopia.

The 1500-hectare farm lies at an altitude of 1680m-1850m and is divided into 51 microlots. 200 hectares of land is preserved for conservation as it is part of the Sheka Biosphere Forest Reserve. As well as coffee, spices and honey are also grown at the farm.

The farm employs around 75 permanent workers and more than 700 seasonal workers during the harvest season. Some of the farm personnel live in the village of Yeppo, less than 3km from the farm entrance; others live in the town of Masha about 18km away. Haile has built a classroom block in Yeppo so that children from Yeppo can get an education without going into the nearby town.

Haile’s farm is managed by Gosaye Gebretinsay who has more than twenty years’ experience in the Ethiopian coffee industry. He trained at the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC) and worked for eleven years at the well-known Gemadro Estate owned by Horizon Coffee before coming to work for Haile and manage operations at Yeppo.

Our farm grows some of the best coffee in Ethiopia,” says Gosaye. “We grow shade-grown coffee made possible by the forest environment. We have a plentiful supply of water, since the farm is bordered by rivers on three sides. And the soils here are very good for growing coffee.”

Haile has invested heavily in the farm which has its own washing station, more than 120 drying beds, good storage facilities, and on-site accommodation for its workers. Under Gosaye are his two Technical Managers who manage the workforce which includes 12 foremen and 25 guards and storekeepers.