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Showing posts tagged “Indonesia”

During the earthquake, I didn’t know what to do. My body froze and all I remember was the safety of my family.

-Participant in a recent disaster preparedness training conducted by Fairtrade field staff

Two months ago, Fairtrade coffee farmers and many more in Indonesia were the victims of successive calamities, including flash floods and an earthquake that reached 6.1 on the Richter scale.

Earthquake in Indonesia

While the majority of our trainings focus on coffee and the Fairtrade Standards, our most recent training was three days on Disaster Risk Reduction. The training, delivered by two local experts, was attended by 38 participants from 13 coffee producer groups from Central Aceh in a simple hotel last week in Medan, North Sumatra.

Hagung, a Fairtrade Liaison Officer for Indonesia and Philippines who coordinated the event, said that the training was precisely designed to help with basic concepts of Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Based Risk Reduction. Due to unpredictable weather patterns and greater frequency of natural disasters, the training also covered adaptation to climate change to enable them to make efforts to protect their communities.

Aside from those topics, the participants learned about practical tools, such as seasonal diagramming, historical transects, hazard analysis, to develop community risk assessment maps. This helps the community create a step by step guide for building a local response team.

Filling out the papers

The participants were very happy and thankful for the valuable lessons. One participant from a cooperative said, “At least now if the earthquake or flash floods come again, my community and I have knowledge of what to do. And we plan to use our Fairtrade Premium money to have prepare a community response team, which functions to help victims and avoid further loss.”

We recently wrote about Ketiara, one of the groups affected by the earthquake here. Two representatives from this group attended the training.

Erwin Novianto is a Regional Managerial Consultant for Fairtrade’s Producer Services and Relations team in Southeast Asia and China.

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.

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