KSU Permata Gayo
Product: CoffeeFLO ID: 6589
Individual members 2,717
Year Fairtrade Certified: 2008
Organisation Type: Smallholder
KSU Permata Gayo is a cooperative located in the tropical climates and fertile volcanic soils of the Bener Meriah district of the Aceh Province in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The cooperative is placed at an altitude of 1,000 – 1,600m.
People in this area have suffered armed conflicts between Aceh separatists and the Indonesian military, and the impact of an earthquake and Tsunami. Permata Gayo members emerged from this period in socio-economic poverty. In 2006, this multi-ethnic cooperative united Aceh, Gayo, Alas and Singkil farmers to increase the sales of their 98 % organic coffee. Around 70% of household income now comes from the coffee harvest. The cooperative has 2717 members, of which 462 are women.
A Permata Gayo member ©Thanksgiving Coffee
Farmers produce varietals of Arabica and Robusta, such as Ateng, Lini S (Typica S 795), Catimor and Bourbon (Gayo 1, Gayo 2). Catimor is a hybrid between Arabica and Robusta, and is resistant to leaf rust. Locally it’s known as Tim-Tim. The coffee’s quality is semi-washed, Grade 1: Smooth deep body, mild spice, sweetness and with a hint of almond and berries.
Permata Gayo have two cuppers on the staff who ensure premium quality. They give special attention to the unique profile of village-lots. 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.
In 2008, the cooperative joined Fairtrade to help local farmers come together to improve product quality and market access.
“Now that we’ve joined a Fairtrade Certified co-op, we know that there will be funds available to help us improve the quality of our product.”
Fauziah, Permata Gayo member
Permata Gayo coffee sorter © Conscious coffees
Fairtrade Benefits/ Premium
Permata Gayo offers several trainings to empower its members and staff and to strengthen the cooperative in obtaining organic and Fairtrade certification standards; computer skills for administration; and accounting.
Women and Community
Women’s empowerment programs have been supporting households headed by women. The cooperative actively supports women to become qualified in financial management and running a microcredit scheme. These small loans can be used to start businesses in order to supplement the income coming from coffee.
The cooperative has used the Fairtrade Premium funds to support women during pregnancy. The funds helped to equip medical centres with instruments and supplies for mothers and babies.
Permata Gayo have a food programme which provides staple foods to members during outside of the harvest season when there is no coffee income.
Farmers from Permata Gayo ©Coop Coffees
Quality & productivity
Permata Gayo is improving their coffee by investing the Fairtrade Premiums in agricultural tools. The cooperative has provided one portable weeding kit per village with machetes, shovels, saws and weed cutting machines. Weeds can host and spread coffee diseases and pests so these machines keep coffee farms healthy without the use of chemicals. Permata Gayo has reduced the use of chemical herbicides by 95% with this technology.
Permata Gayo has invested the Fairtrade Premium in quality by maintaining a cupping laboratory and staff, improving processing facility, and training cooperative members.
The cooperative is investing the Fairtrade Premium in environmental education and training on local issues. The area’s volcanic soil can be very productive, but over-farming and pollution is causing erosion. Permata Gayo runs trainings in soil conservation and safe disposal of waste. There is also a tree nursery and composting facilities for members.