KBQB - Koperasi Baitul Qiradh Baburrayyan
KBQB officially registered with the government in 2002, with 600 members, but due to the ongoing civil war, the cooperative remained relatively dormant throughout its early years. The conflict between the Indonesian government and the “Free Aceh” rebels from 1976 to 2005 claimed many lives and had a negative impact on the social and economic development of the region. KBQB has helped create stable market access for its members to revive the coffee industry after the civil war. In 2006 the members received their first organic premium, and the cooperative began to grow dramatically, to almost 5,000 members. In October 2007 KBQB became Fair Trade Certified. Through Fair Trade, KBQB has developed rapidly and recently bought the coffee processing factory they formerly rented in Takengon. This factory creates employment for community members of Takengon and has become one of the big coffee factories and a main buyer in the area.
Today, KBQB is known by buyers for producing a quality cup of coffee that is 100 percent certified organic. The cooperative has maintained long-standing relationships with various buyers in the international market, showcasing the farmers’ reliability and valued standards of quality production.
Fair Trade premiums greatly benefited our cooperative because now we have been able to buy weed cutters, allowing us to take better care of our coffee plants. ”
Antu Arul, KBQB member
We have always wanted our own office space. It is important to us as a cooperative to be able to meet, share ideas, and work under the same roof. It gives us a great sense of pride to have something of our own. ”
Rizwan Husin, KBQB Chairman
Fair Trade will help us build a communal place of worship. It will help us express and share our religious beliefs with other members of the community. ”
Muyang Safruddin, KBQB member
Weed cutters purchased for increased efficiency
The Fair Trade premium has purchased 300 weed cutters for farmers, a significant investment that increases farming efficiency. Weeding around the base of the coffee plant is important to allow the coffee plant access to all the soil nutrients. Before these new weed cutters, farmers cut unwanted plants by hand, a labor intensive process that took 30 days to clear one hectare of land. Now with a weed cutter, a farmer can clear the same area in three days. The equipment is distributed among the different villages and used collectively by the farmers in each small town.
Building of new office spaces
In the past, the cooperative has always rented office space for their members. This has proved to be very costly and time consuming. As a result of Fair Trade premiums, the cooperative has been able to purchase their own land on which they will build offices. Having their own office and warehouse space helps increase unity and gives the members an important communal space where they can meet. In the near future they also hope to build a place of worship.
One of the projects undertaken with premium funds was the construction of new roads. Most of the farmers in this area use motorcycles as transport, but during the rainy season the dirt roads connecting farms get washed away and become dangerous too drive motorcycles on. This delays the arrival of coffee supply, which has an overall negative impact on the cooperative. Fair Trade premiums were used to put down concrete over some of the motorbike paths to allow for safer and secure transport for producers. They are approximately 1-2 feet wide and now, farmers can transport coffee during any season.