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 cooperative 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 2010, the cooperative had 2,425 members, producing 100 percent organic Fair Trade Certified coffee - an incredible growth rate for a four-year-old organization. Fair Trade Sumatran coffee purchases increased by 69 percent the same year.
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 two 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), portable wedding materials (one kit per village), and invest in environmental education and training (erosion, soil conservation and disposal of waste). Programs focusing on women's empowerment are also prevalent, such as supporting women during their pregnancy by purchasing necessary medical tools. The cooperative has also made an effort to hire women to do manufacturing work in processing facilities as well as training in financial management.
Now that we’ve joined a Fair Trade Certified co-op, we know that there will be funds available to help us improve the quality of our product. ”
Fauziah, cooperative member
Training of Coffee Quality Improvement
Permata Gayo invested Fair Trade premiums towards training to improve coffee quality. As businesses, cooperatives are increasingly looking for ways to improve their product offering to sell more coffee and subsequently extend more benefits to cooperative members. The cooperative used Fair Trade premiums to maintain their cupping laboratory, improve the existing coffee processing facility and train cooperative members to use both facilities.
Microfinance for Women
Fair Trade premium funds were allocated to Permata Gayo's Women's Microcredit Program. Women can take out loans to start small businesses and earn extra income to supplement coffee incomes and support their families.
Fund Children's school supplies
An education fund has been created to help members children obtain necessary academic supplies.