Permata Gayo Cooperative is located in the Gayo region in Western Sumatra. 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 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.
Number of Members:
Bener Meriah District