Producer Profiles

Permata Gayo Cooperative

The Permata Gayo Cooperative is located in the Gayo region in Western Sumatra, Indonesia. The area suffered heavily during the Aceh conflict between 1976 and 2005. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake brought a peace deal and the end of the insurgency. Since the end of the conflict, the region has made steps towards recovery, but coffee production remains one of the only income options for many in the area. However, with the demand for coffee from the Gayo region increasing, the potential for social and economic development in the community is also increasing.

Permata Gayo was formed in 2006 by 50 coffee famers spread throughout five villages in the Bandar sub-district in Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. The organization was founded in order to increase the sale of organic coffee and generate benefits for the allied small-scale farmers. In 2007, the cooperative was certified organic by the USDA and European Union. A year later they became Fair Trade Certified. Staying true to their vision to “work together for the welfare of our communities and to improve the lives of our members through the commercialization of the highest quality coffee," the cooperative fosters Fair Trade principles of transparency, accountability and quality. In 2013, the cooperative had 3,089 members, producing 100 percent organic Fair Trade Certified coffee.

The farmers place a higher emphasis on the quality of their unique Sumatran coffee, which is enthusiastically sought out by coffee roasters seeking a blend with an earthy flavor. There are temporary cuppers on staff who use specific sorting techniques which can produce coffees originating from a single village. Permata Gayo members have attended international events such as the Specialty Coffee Association of America in the United States and cupping trainings to stay up to date with current coffee practices.

Permata Gayo has used Fair Trade premiums to purchase agricultural tools (weed cutters, machetes, shovels and saws), set up post-harvest food assistance programs, and invest in environmental education and training (erosion, soil conservation and disposal of waste), amongst other initiatives. Programs focusing on women's empowerment are also prevalent, such as supporting women during their pregnancy by purchasing necessary medical equipment. The cooperative has also made an effort to hire women to do manufacturing work in processing facilities as well, in addition to participating in financial management trainings.
 

Programs

Pruning Workshops

Producers in 27 villages received training on best practices for pruning. An additional 17 villages will receive training during the next harvest year.

Food Assistance Post-Harvest

In the off-season when producers have no income from coffee, the cooperative distributes packages of food with rice, noodles, sugar, and palm oil.