Permata Gayo Cooperative
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.
This training is carried out 2-3 times a year in collaboration with buyers and others. Permata Gayo hopes to provide collectors with deeper insights so that coffee quality can be improved. To date, all collectors have received this training.
Quality and Productivity
Permata Gayo hopes to increase production and family income through a variety of investments that include maintaining soil fertility, pest and disease control, seed selection, shade management, new drying and fermentation facilities, and cupping trainings.
Permata Gayo conducts a composting training every year; in 2014 they worked in collaboration with the NGO Agriterra.