Hipunan Petani Kopi Organik Gayo Musara (HPKOGM), an Indonesian coffee cooperative, was founded in 2006. They became Fair Trade certified two years later, in 2008, and began exporting in 2009. The cooperative sought Fair Trade certification because of the notable benefit to farmers. Now, HPKOGM strives to comply with all Fair Trade standards and sell organic Fair Trade coffee at a good price. Farmers in the area had been severely affected by the previous armed conflict in the Aceh province, prompting most to leave their farms for years. The conflict also left some of the members of the cooperative widowed. After the signing of the peace agreement in 2005, however, farmers began returning to the region. As a result of being temporarily displaced by the conflict, some farmers are still in the process of re-cultivating their coffee gardens, a process that has been made difficult by a lack of cash and labor. Finding a good market channel for its coffee has been one of the cooperative’s greatest challenges. The recent increase in demand for coffee from the Gayo Mountains, however, has invigorated business in the area. One of the cooperative’s main strengths—a sustainable production system with agroforestry and organic production—has benefited them in this realm. HPKOGM’s Fair Trade certification has combined with the increased demand for coffee from the Gayo Mountains to bring improvements to the cooperative’s community.
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