The Permata Gayo Cooperativeis located near Takengon in the Gayo Highlands region of Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. Rising abruptly from the coastal plains of Sumatra’s northern-most province, the mountains of Aceh Tengah are the historical home to the Gayonese people. The ideal growing conditions of this region have supported the long history and unique quality reputation of “Gayo Mountain” coffee.
Years of civil war plagued this region, causing many farmers to abandon their land and flee to the neighboring city of Medan. However, after a powerful tsunami hit the coastal region of northern Sumatra in 2014, the most devastating of its kind in modern times, peace accords were signed, ending a generation of violence and allowing many to return to their land.
Permata Gayo Cooperative was founded in 2006, when 50 farmers from 5 villages of the Bener Meriah district of the Aceh Province came together to discuss how to rebuild their abandoned coffee farms. They were successful in increasing their membership and achieved organic certification a year later, and fair trade certification in 2009. They are still the only Fair Trade certified coffee cooperative in Indonesia. The co-op's membership is predominantly of the devoutly muslim Gayo ethnic group (50%), but also includes a diverse span of Javanese (30%), Acehnese (15%), Padang (3%) and Batak (2%) and various religons. This diversity has strengthened the cooperative - an incredible feat in the midst of such intercultural strife in the region.
They have brought the full process of coffee production from farmer to final export under one roof, thus improving quality and guaranteeing more trace-ability from Aceh to roaster. Today, in 2017, Permata Gayo Cooperative has 2053 members from 39 villages. As a result of their growth and improvements, the co-op has been able to share more of the final price of coffee with their farmers.
Cooperative Coffees has worked with Permata Gayo since 2009, and their coffee has quickly become one of our most important offerings. It is popular as a single origin and irreplaceable in many of our members' blends. The sweet, earthy, green pepper and red fruit notes along with its syrupy body and lingering finish are characteristic of this Gayo coffee.
Co-op members live in an environmentally sensitive region in and around the buffer zone to Gunung Leuser National Park, an area that contains critical watersheds and sanctuaries for endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger. Producers are dedicated to producing high-quality 100% organic and shade grown coffee while ensuring their production practices conserve resources and preserve the biologically diverse ecosystem in which they live.
Located in the Gayo Highlands region of the Aceh Province, Indonesia at 1100-1500 meters -- Varietals: Typica, Catimor, Caturra, Bergendal, and Sidikalang
*information courtesy of Cooperative Coffees
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