APKO, ASKOGO & PERMATA Coops - Sumatra

sumatra mapAbout Indonesia & Sumatra

Indonesia is as diverse as it is enormous. Hundreds of languages are spoken on the 17,000 islands that make up the world’s largest archipelago and Muslim country. The main island, Java, is one of the most densely populated regions of the world.  The total land area under coffee cultivation is estimated at 1.1 million hectares, scattered over many islands of diverse geographical and ecological terrain. Smallholders account for some 90 percent of all production. The vast majority of exports are natural unwashed coffees. Wet processing was introduced into Indonesia by the Dutch from the West Indies and were designated WIB: West Indische Bereiding (West Indian preparation). Persatuan Petani Kopi Gayo Organik (PPKGO), with whom we work via ForesTrade has developed a “special preparation” for Cooperative Coffees contracts that consists of a wrapped wet fermentation that brings out the wild characteristics of Sumatran coffees.

apko1Asosiasi Petani Kopi Organik (APKO)

APKO was founded in March 2006 with the mission of improving the living standards of its members.  In March 2007, under the umbrella group of PPKGO, APKO began exporting organic certified through an American exporter, ForesTrade, who helps commercialize and export the coffee of Indonesian coops to North America.  In 2009, they became FLO certified. APKO currently has around 796 members (2011) who are organized in 15 villages within in the regencies (districts) of Aceh Tengah (4 villages) and Bener Meriah (11 villages). Their board of directors is a well balanced blend of old and young members and farmers, delegates, collectors and staff members are invited to participate in meetings.  The organization operates with the help and support of a dynamic group of people fully committed to making the coop a success.

apko2APKO members grow their coffee between 1000m to 1500m above sea level. Harvest takes place between September and May.  The average yield per hectare is about 10,000 kg of cherries for Arabica which converts to about 24 bags of exportable green. APKO’s office is located in Simpang Tigah and contains a facility with a sample roaster and a cupping lab in which they can better manage and track the quality of the coop’s coffee. Given that APKO itself was established in relatively recent years and became FLO certified even more recently, the coop has spent the better part of the last several years strengthening its organization and membership. Coop Coffees visit in 2009 was a great opportunity to develop a better understanding about Fair Trade and what it actually means – open contracts, direct relationships, profit and risk-sharing, etc – for them as a producer group.  It also marked an unprecedented opportunity to meet with an importer, to sit down with Coop Coffees and discuss the terms of trade. 

askogo1ASKOGO (Asosiasi Kopi Gayo Organic)

ASKOGO was re-structured in August 2008 and were first inspected for fair-trade certification in 2009. FLO admitted this coop into its fair-trade registry in September of the same year. ASKOGO currently has 760 members organized in 13 villages (4 villages grow robusta and 9 villages grow Arabica). They are all located in the regencies of Aceh Tengah and Bener Meriah.  ASKOGO members grow their coffee from 1000m to 1500m above sea level. They usually harvest from September to May. ASKOGO owns an office in the village of Simpang Teritit and rent warehouse owned by Ujang Jaya (their associate exporter). Based on members’ estimates for the 2010-2011 harvest, the coop hopes to reach fulfill a 40-container capacity.

permataPermata Gayo

This coop was founded in 2006 in the Bener Meriah district of the Aceh Province in Sumatra, Indonesia.  Cooperative Coffees began importing coffee from Permata in 2009.  Permata Gayo was certified organic by FLO in 2008 and began exporting its coffee under the fair-trade system i 2009. It contains 3,000 members and occupies roughly about 4,500 hectares of land. Delegates and collectors represent the farmers at the general assembly and coop meetings. They are responsible for electing the Board of Directors who then employs the staff.

Permata Gayo occupies an office in Bener Meriah and have expended with a new lab facility in 2010.  The characteristics of the coffee include a rich, leathery, and earthy body with a hint of dark caramel.