Permata Gayo was founded in 2006 by a group of 50 farmers from five different villages in the Bener Meriah district in the Aceh Region. After years of conflict and insecurity, the mission of the group was to build a cooperative that was able to provide economic security for farmers, offer transparency within the supply chain, and give back to the land through the production of coffee.Today, Permata Gayo brings together 2,122 members and is proud to be Rainforest Alliance Certified. The cooperative now offers training programs on growing, processing coffee, and also cupping coffee for quality. Moreover, they also provide farmer members with food security projects and support children's education, sports, and arts in the community.
Most members of the cooperative are smallholder farmers and own around 2-5 hectares of land. These members use compost to guarantee soil fertility from year to year. The compost consists of livestock manure, green waste, and red cherry skin from the harvest. Processing in Sumatra is unique and very distinctive from the traditional “washed process”, in that farmers use the process called wet-hulling or “giling-basah”. As soon as the ripe cherries are harvested they are depulped using a machine called a “luwak”. The beans are then stored in tanks for dry fermentation overnight. The next morning, the coffees are washed and then quick dried to 35-40%. They are then brought to a hulling station to be hulled before being dried to 12%. The coffee is stored in a warehouse in Medan and can be easily traced back to the village it came from throughout the entire process.