70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Belgium? Let's celebrate and materialize this by... exporting coffee! Koerintji Barokah Bersama Cooperative, Rikolto’s coffee partner in Jambi, on the island Sumatra, is set to export 15.6 tons of Arabica coffee beans to Belgium.
Guillaume Goessens (First Secretary of the Embassy of Belgium in Indonesia), Chris Claes (Director of Rikolto International) and Rico Eric Estrada Nainggolan (Head of Subdivision Cooperation with NGOs & Foreign Private Sector from Indonesia Ministry of Home Affairs), Adirozal (Kerinci Regent), and Triyono (Head of Barokah Cooperative) symbolically launched the export on Sunday (13/10), in Kerinci.
260 bags of green beans are on its way to a coffee merchant in Antwerp, Belgium.
The export could take place due to the collaboration between government institutions, private sectors, NGOs, financial institution, cooperative, and coffee farmers.
“No body can do things on their own, we need to collaborate. In Rikolto, we work with farmers’ organisations, governments, and private sectors to create an inclusive business. Inclusive business is a win-win solution for anyone involved in the value chain. It also means that we need to think beyond getting income and money, but also how to manage our natural environment.”
Arabica Koerintji coffee farmers in Gunung Tujuh Sub-district of Kerinci formed the Barokah Cooperative in 2017. The cooperative has a membership of 270 farmers in three sub-districts who are committed to adopting sustainable coffee farming practices. Since 2017, Rikolto has supported the cooperative, from farm to market, within the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) programme.
Through PES, Rikolto connects the cooperative to private sector/government institutions willing to give incentives/payment to farmers who help restore forest ecosystem. The payment can be given through policy support, equipment support, and better prices for sustainably produced coffee.
Kerinci Regent Adirozal stated that Barokah gives an example of how coffee business can be done without harming the forest.
“I encourage all coffee farmers to manage their farms sustainably and improve coffee quality. By doing so, our coffee is recognised in the global market and we can export to Europe.”
In three-years period, Barokah has managed to develop a partnership with private actors, financial institutions, and local government institutions.
Head of Subdivision Cooperation with NGOs & Foreign Private Sector from Indonesia Ministry of Home Affairs Rico Eric Estrada Nainggolan thanked Rikolto for its contribution to the Indonesian Government.
“Through this export, we can see that there is a collaborative model to empower farmers that involves government institutions at national and regional level, private actors, NGO, and even financial institution. We need to replicate this model to different areas in Indonesia.” Rico Eric Estrada Nainggolan, Head of Subdivision Cooperation with NGOs & Foreign Private Sector from Indonesia Ministry of Home Affairs
Indonesia and Belgium started its diplomatic ties in 1949, while Rikolto started its mission in Indonesia in 1955. The export is a testament to a mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
“We would like to reach out to more areas in Indonesia, and to work directly with communities." Guillaume Goessens, First Secretary of the Embassy of Belgium in Indonesia