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
There has been a strong agronomy support project put in place to protect the environment and answer farmers’ needs. General training and education programs focus on environmental protection, harvest production, coffee quality improvement, cupper training, and Fair Trade organic practices. Farmers have been given access to fertilizers, advice on proper pruning techniques, soil management, washing stations and a small scale cupping laboratory.
Member Welfare Fund
As a means of investment in economic sustainability, the Permata Gayo cooperative allocated Fair Trade premiums to a members' welfare fund.
Training for Members
Permata Gayo funded a series of organic and organizational trainings using Fair Trade premiums. In order to ensure that cooperative members comply with organic and Fair Trade certification standards, the cooperative held various training sessions on organic farming practices, computer skills and accounting for both cooperative staff and members.
The cooperative also invested Fair Trade premiums towards organic certification fees for its farming members. The cooperative produces and sells 2,000 metric tons of organic Fair Trade coffee annually.