In last week’s post, we shared the first part of Mickey’s journey to Indonesia, where he attended the Temu Kupi Sumatra event and visited the Koperasi Baitul Qiradh Baburrayyan (KBQB) co-op, where our newest Aceh Gayo coffee is produced.
After visiting the co-op, and some other hotspots within the city of Takengon, Mickey went on to visit the Tunas Indah co-op and farms. Tunas Indah has seen incredible growth and sophistication in the past 3 years, growing to 3,600 members. With proper access to capital, the co-op has been able to decide how money gets allocated, and to make operations more efficient. For example, fair trade premiums have allowed the co-op to purchase over 3,000 weed wackers (important in a lush, tropical environment where weeds can become an issue) and motorcycles, which aid with making efficient inspections.
Mickey was able to do a tour of a couple of different farms at Tunas Indah, and could sense the general feeling of satisfaction and happiness amongst the workers, including the farmers and the 3 certified coffee cuppers at the co-op.
Again, the importance of fair trade premiums and transparency in coffee trade relationships stood out. Visiting the Tunas Indah co-op emphasized how challenging it can be for co-ops to access capital, and how important it is for the livelihood of the co-op and its members’ community. Through fair trade premiums, farmers are able to allocate extra money for quality improvement projects or tools, including the weed wackers and motorcycles. Visiting the co-ops also uncovered the challenges that farmers in different villages face in language barriers, underscoring the importance of education in standardizing quality control measures.
Making new connections, and seeing firsthand the challenges and importance of fair trade premiums: this trip to Indonesia was especially rewarding. In Sumatra, 90% of income comes from coffee farming. 4.5 million farmers reside in the Aceh province, and 90% of these farmers are organic. As you can imagine, the importance of coffee to this region of the world cannot be overstated, and we are looking forward to a future of strong, mutually productive partnerships with coffee farmers.
To learn more about Mickey’s trip to Indonesia, read The Importance of Transparency: A Trip to Indonesia, Part 1.