Region: Gayo Highlands, Sumatra
Coffee: Arabica and Robusta
Elevation: 3,200 - 4,500 feet
Persatuan Petani Kopi Gayo Organik (Gayo Organic Coffee Farmer's Association), or PPKGO, is a 400-member farmer's cooperative working in 24 communities of the Gayo Highlands of Sumatra. PPKGO now produces 1,500 tons of coffee and is Indonesia's only Fair Trade and Organic Certified coffee cooperative.
The Gayo region is renowned as the largest producer of Arabica coffee in Southeast Asia, but also as the site of the seemingly ceaseless civil war between Acehnese separatists and the Indonesian military.
PPKGO farmers are predominantly members of the Gayo ethnic group, devoutly Muslim and attempting to remain non-partisan in the Aceh conflict. PPKGO includes members of Gayo, Javanese and Acehenese ethnic groups and various religions, including Christians. This diversity has strengthened the cooperative - an incredible feat in the midst of such intercultural strife in the region.
Accomplishments in great part due to increased earning from Fair Trade and Organic premiums, include the renovation of several village mosques and water supply systems and the coffee renewal program, replacing unproductive plants with some 35,000 indigenous "tipica" seedlings.
The farmers are eager to create alternatives for development in their house credit and savings program and to recuperating age-old traditions, such as the use of water buffalo for weed control and natural fertilization. PPKGO offers its membership the mechanisms to regain control over their own integrated development.
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