The Gedeo zone in the southwest of Ethiopia, is the homeland of the Gedeo people. Lying about 369 long kilometers from Addis Ababa on dusty and often difficult roads, this zone occupies a narrow strip of the Ethiopian highlands on the Eastern Escarpment and includes the town of Yirgacheffe itself. Gedeo is bordered by Sidama on the north, and encircled on the other three sides by the Oromia region.
In Gedeo, Yirgacheffe, approximately 25,000 local coffee smallholders bring their cherries to washing stations for processing. Inter-tribal conflicts in late 2016 resulted in extensive property damage through fire and vandalism, with many key mills rendered inoperative. Furthermore, a rare late frost damaged thousands of hectares of coffee. Resilient and hopeful, the Gedeo people are forging ahead, producing natural coffees while working to repair washing facilities.