Indonesia

Indonesia: Coffee Kids supports rebuilding of coffee farmers community

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News and Press Release
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Jakarta, Indonesia-Relief -- The Aceh Tsunami Relief Fund, established by Coffee Kids in partnership with Forestrade Inc, has made a complete shift to supporting the reconstruction of local community infrastructure in the coffee-growing Gayo Highland region in Central Aceh. Currently the fund is rehabilitating 10 coffee processing facilities, rehabilitating 10 hectares of coffee farms with soil erosion losses, and reconstruction of 15 mosques.
In late April, the local implementing organizations PPKGO (Gayo Organic Coffee Farmers Association) and CV Trimaju (coffee processing company) created a summary plan for priority rebuilding projects in 20 villages that suffered physical losses during the devastating earthquake of December 2004 and subsequent aftershocks. An itemized budget was prepared containing specific locations, projects undertaken, and estimated costs per item.

Among the projects identified with a total budget allocation of Rp 2.513 billion (about US$271,231) are: rebuilding of 15 structurally-damaged mosques; repair of 7 community water supply systems; reconstruction of 11 village meunasah (Islamic schools); rehabilitation of 10 local coffee processing facilities, rehabilitation of approximately 10 hectares of coffee farms with soil erosion losses; repair of damaged housing in all 20 villages.

As reported by Coffe Kids in mid June, reconstruction activities have begun in most of the communities. However, only the highest priority work is underway as the 2004-2005 coffee harvests has still continued through the last two months.

On a parallel track, the centralized processing plant of CV Trimaju and the largest PPKGO-managed small-scale wet mill were rehabilitated in March-April using funds from Cordaid. Despite the early delays and difficulties, the harvest has proceeded well and the farmers and buyers alike are reporting that production volumes and product quality are normal to very good.

The bulk of the reconstruction efforts will take place from July-October during the period before Ramadhan and the resumption of the next harvest in November. A civil engineering student from Banda Aceh who survived the Tsunami in West Sumatra and who received financial support from the Aceh Tsunami Relief Fund will make visits to Central Aceh to monitor progress and provide technical support over the next several months.

A major positive development during the last several months has been the provision of temporary employment to a number of the estimated 10,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) that have located in Central Aceh near coffee farmers and local processing units. This will last until about July-August, when the harvest will end. However, plans are much needed to meet the long-term land, housing, employment, and educational needs of the IDPs so that they will be able to have an orderly and stable resettlement.

In recognition of the long-term reconstruction and resettlement needs in Central Aceh and many other parts of Aceh province and North Sumatra, Coffee Kids partner ForesTrade Inc. has formed an alliance with two U.S. non-profit organizations to carry on and expand the work of the Aceh Tsunami Relief Project. ForesTrade co-founder Thomas Fricke has initiated a mass consumer marketing initiative in the United States called Sustain Sumatra in partnership with Counterpart International (CPI), a Washington-DC based humanitarian assistance non-profit organization and the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (AICC).

The coffee aspects of the Sustain Sumatra campaign will undoubtedly be a major component, and will continue to be primarily channeled through current Aceh Tsunami Relief partners PPKGO and Trimaju. The program can be accessed starting June 17th 2005 at a dedicated website ( www.sustainsumatra.org ) designed for the use by a broad assortment of partner companies, customers, and consumers. This website will also link back to the Coffee Kids Website to direct potential individual and corporate contributors towards Coffee Kids's ongoing support for Sumatra and their broader global efforts.

Sustain Sumatra will feature a broad array of products with primary or defining ingredients produced in Aceh and Sumatra such as Arabica coffee, essential oils, spices, palm oil, cacao, furniture, and handicrafts.

In the first 12 months of operations, the program is targeting raising at least $2 million through revenue sharing from sales, designated corporate contributions, and matching funds from collaborating organizations. An independent trust fund administered by a reputable Indonesian NGO will provide programming support and financial oversight in the field. A number of companies such as Green Mountain Coffee, Equal Exchange, Taylor Made Farms, and Frontier Cooperative Herbs have made commitments to participating in the campaign, and several other major corporations have expressed an interest as well once the campaign is off and rolling. © nas