Making Fairtrade and Productivity Work in Indonesia

Coffee is life for the majority of farmers in Gayo Highlands of Sumatra. For many, entering Fairtrade markets and maintaining high yields is more than a goal, it’s about survival. However, this year rising prices coupled with decreasing productivity put 14 Fairtrade certified cooperatives in jeopardy along with others in the supply chain.

In June, Fairtrade International conducted three days of training in Aceh, Indonesia. Topics included the Fairtrade Standards and productivity support for cooperatives looking to improve their knowledge of productivity and quality. Two local coffee experts facilitated the training. 

Participants enthusiastically discussed and shared their knowledge on coffee cultivation techniques, processes and how to assess the quality coffee. Sessions in meeting rooms were combined with field visits for real life practice. When the training ended, smiles lingered on the faces of many participants.  

“We’re hoping that other trainings will continue in the future and spread to all producers in the region,” commented one participant.

Producer support for productivity and quality is a key piece of Fairtrade International’s efforts to help coffee cooperatives and traders weather the current high market volatility in coffee. To learn more about how high prices have affected producers and what Fairtrade International is doing to help, visit our latest news section.


Erwin Novianto is a Fairtrade liaison officer based in Indonesia and East Timor. He coordinates training efforts and provides support to producers in the area.