Producer Profiles

KSU Arinagata - Koperasi Serba Usaha Arinagata

Koperasi Serba Usaha “Arinagata” (KSU Arinagata) is an Indonesian coffee-producing cooperative that was founded in 2006 with 800 small farmer members, brought together after unsatisfactory sales at other co-ops. The cooperative became certified organic in 2007, gained Fair Trade certification in 2008, and had its first exports by early 2009. KSU Arinagata decided to pursue Fair Trade certification because Fair Trade offers transparency, prosperity, democracy and a minimum 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, only returning recently after the signing of a peace agreement in 2005. As a result, 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. KSU Arinagata’s Fair Trade certification has combined with this increase to bring improvements to the cooperative’s community.


Education for Children instead of Labor; English Program

The cooperative strongly opposes the use of child labor among its members. Part of the premium fund was used to ameliorate the constraints that have forced some families to take their children to the coffee farms instead of letting them attend school. Also, the cooperative has used funds to establish a training/day-care center for children, where the cooperative members’ children can stay and receive education while their parents work in the coffee farms. Additionally, the cooperative has set up an after-hours English-teaching program.

Community: Public Restrooms/Washrooms, Shelters, Improved Roads

KSU Arinagata has used premium funds to invest in pressing community needs, such as the construction of public toilets and washing areas and shelters against rain. The cooperative has also rebuilt damaged roads. Additionally, funds have paid for daily necessities in the community, such as rice, oil and sugar.