Rising abruptly from the coastal plains of Sumatra’s northern-most province, the mountains of Aceh Tengah (Central Aceh) 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 in 2007 and fair trade certification from FLO-Cert in 2009. They have brought the full process of coffee production from farmer to final export under one roof, thus improving quality, and guaranteeing more traceability from Aceh to roaster. As a result of their growth and improvements, the coop has been able to share more of the final price of coffee with their farmers.