To close this worldwide tour we move to Indonesia, where since the 1970s large areas of forests have been transformed into industrial plantations and smallholder farmers have resorted to uncontrolled slash and burn techniques to expand their farms. Rikolto has been employing the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) approach, a cost-effective means to compensate indigenous communities, landowners and/or (smallholder) farmers for their environmental maintenance and provision of ecosystem services within protected forest. These ecosystem services encompass, among others, the supply of food, water and timber, the regulation of air and soil quality and the preservation of biodiversity. Identifying chain actors willing to reward quality and sustainable coffee production within this system is a key variable of the equation. During the Covid pandemic buyers couldn’t visit the fields, leading to reduced access to markets for farmers and their organisations. As Rikolto, we connected the farmers’ organisation Asnikom, already involved in an agroforesty implementation project, to the coffee trading platform Beyco, developed by our partner Progresso. Asnikom succeeded in securing a deal with This-Side-Up (a Dutch-based coffee buyer) to export 36 tonnes of green beans, and received a credit from Progresso via the platform.
In 2020 Indonesia recorded its lowest deforestation rate, which fell by 75% compared to 2019. Several factors contributed to this result such as reduced commodity prices and the economic crisis, but recent government policies prohibiting forest-clearing have also played a significant role. On domestic markets, the demand for agricultural products including coffee and cocoa is increasing. In fact, cities’ economic development entails a shift in the eating habits of their citizens. In this framework, a deeper commitment at policy level is needed to target both domestic agriculture and globally traded commodities. As highlighted in this article from CIAT, a turning point would be to explore the relationship between consumption patterns and land use to define farsighted policies.