Permata Gayo Co-op, Indonesia
Permata Gayo Coffee Co-operative started with 50 members in 2006 after many people in the region returned to their land after years of civil war. During the civil war families were forced to flee. Farms and houses were burned and innocent bystanders were often killed.
The war only ended after the tragic tsunami of 2004 where entire villages of people disappeared along the coast of Sumatra and the lives of over 130,000 Indonesians were lost (more than any other nation).
After the implications of the tsunami, the Indonesian Government and Acehnese rebels agreed to disagree and laid down their arms. Families returned to their destroyed properties as peace spread across their land. Permata Gayo’s founding members started the co-op in hopes of banding together to apply for assistance from the government and NGO’s.
The forms were filled out and filed, time went by but in their specific case help never came. The farmers decided they could move towards prosperity faster on their own and started working towards Organic and Fair Trade certification.
In 2007 the 594 member co-op earned organic certification for their coffee followed by fair trade certification in 2008 with membership increased to 700 members. Now, farmers were able to obtain 10 cent per pound of coffee, just for being organic. They also received a fair price for their coffee (meeting Fair Trade minimums and exceeding the market value), and another 10 cent premium per pound was set aside for community development investments that are decided upon by co-op members.
By the nature of a co-operative, members work together and discuss the best techniques for growing, they help each other solve a variety of problems, whether it’s related to coffee or not.
Name: Koperasi Permata Gayo Co-operative
Number of members: 700
Region: Bener Meriah ( Aceh Province )