Jakarta (Indonesia), 30 Agustus 2019 – In collaboration with Fairtrade International and the Fairtrade Network of Asia and Pacific Producers (NAPP), SCOPI as a national sustainable coffee platform held a workshop to discuss how farmers can enjoy stable and sustainable livelihoods. Fairtrade International developed a strategy called Living Income for smallholder farmers and Living Wage for labour. Fairtrade International would like to introduce this strategy to various stakeholders in the Indonesian coffee sector and whether there is interest in developing and replicating this strategy in various regions in Indonesia.
Living Income is a strategy launched in 2017 in reaction to a household study conducted in chocolate farmers in West Africa. The results of the study show that more than half of the cocoa farming households are living below the poverty rate. These results encourage Fairtrade International to produce a strategy to provide tangible impact on improving the livelihoods of farmers, the strategy is called Living Income. When the coffee price crisis hit, where coffee prices fell to $ 0.95 per pound, the lowest since 2006, Fairtrade International received input to conduct a similar study in the coffee sector.
Living Income Strategy is concept of a cost benchmark for sustainable livelihoods suitable for rural households. The Income generated must meet a decent standard of covering the 4 (four) basic components for all family members, namely: 1) low cost nutritious diet, 2) housing with good sanitation facilities and enough space for all family members, 3) other expenses such education, health services, clothing, transportation, communication, etc., and 4) provision of unexpected events of 5% of the total cost of living.
Fairtrade International began the journey to develop the Living Income strategy by making a preliminary study and analysis of income and productivity gaps in 8 countries, including Indonesia. Fairtrade has selected a number of Fairtrade-certified cooperatives to participate in this study, they are: (1) Organic Gayo Coffee Cooperative (KKGO), (2) Baitul Qiradh Baburrayyan Cooperative, (3) Arinagata Cooperative and (4) Producers Cooperative with Kita Sejahtera (Ark). Fairtrade International wants to see the real situation on the ground by gathering the data to see the productivity, income and expenses of a household. The tool used record these data is called farm record tool where farmers have to fill in with the required data on daily basis for a full year. The data obtained specifically for this purposes will be used to compare the productivity and yields target and see the current income and against the Living Income to meet the four different components. To ensure data accuracy and the consistency of the farmers in filling the daily records, Fairtrade International also provides training and mentoring programs. In the future, Fairtrade is planning to develop a digital version of this tool (application) to ease data retrieval and data analysis processing. This data is expected to be accessed online by cooperatives.
Basically the participants who attended the session are interested in replicating this program but there are many things that needed to be discussed detail such as determining the right mechanism to protect the farmers data integrity and what sort of data that could be publically accessed, how to replicate the program effectively in other regions, for example by collaborating with SCOPI to cover SCOPI work areas across 15 provinces in Indonesia. Ideally Fairtrade International is able to map area of cooperation to identify the priority areas, together work to determine the effective data collection mechanism, hence various stakeholders get clear direction to gather the necessary datas that are required to set the benchmark of Living Income. Therefore technical discussions will need to be conducted as part of strategic coordination to determine the next steps.