The Gayo Organic Coffee Farmers Association (PPKGO) was officially established in 1999 in the Gayo Highlands of central Aceh in Indonesia. PPGKO is the first and only coffee cooperative in Indonesia that is fair trade certified and focused on the production of 100 percent shade-grown organic coffee.
Currently the cooperative has 1,800 members in 24 communities. Twenty percent of the cooperative members are women. The cooperative’s farmers live near the buffer zone of Gunung Leuser National Park, which contains critical watershed areas and sanctuaries for globally threatened species such as the Sumatran tiger ( Panthera tigris sumatrae).
In September 2005, Verde Ventures provided an investment of $150,000 directly to the cooperative for working capital for the 2005 coffee harvest.
The continued practice of sustainable agriculture by PPKGO will ensure that the buffer zone of the Gunung Leuser Ecosystem (more than 6,000 hectares) in the Sundaland biodiversity hotspot is well-maintained and that the threatened species in this important ecosystem can endure.
In exchange for participation in the cooperative, the 1,800 participating farmers commit to stop hunting, logging, or clearing new forest for agriculture.