The COVID-19 pandemic has been impacting multi-sectors, including the coffee supply chain in Indonesia. In response to the situation, on April 16, 2020, the Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia (SCOPI) supported by the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) had held another DISKO (Diskusi Kopi/Coffee Discussion) event, with the topic entitled “Anticipating COVID-19 Impacts on the Coffee Sector Supply Chain”. The event was held to gather aspirations from the actors in the Indonesian coffee sector along the supply chain.
Different than the previous DISKO events, it was held virtually considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the work-from-home mode. It was the first time SCOPI held a virtual public event since its establishment in 2015, inviting SCOPI’s Members, Partners, Donors, and the public at a large nationwide. However, surprisingly, the number of interested participants was much higher than the previous expectation. There were 213 people who have registered, concluded with 137 who participated in the event.
The DISKO was moderated by Zivanna Letisha Siregar, a national TV host and Miss Indonesia Universe 2009. There were three pronounced speakers which include M. Riza Damanik, Special Staff to the Indonesian Minister of Cooperatives and Small Medium Entreprises (SMEs); Hendratmojo Bagus Hudoro, Head of Sub-Directorate, Directorate General of Plantation, the Indonesia Ministry of Agriculture, as well as Wildan Mustofa from CV Frinsa, representing SCOPI Board Member and SCOPI Master Trainers.
Opening the discussion session, the Executive Director of SCOPI, Paramita Mentari Kesuma, explained the survey results which was conducted at the end of March 2020 to SCOPI’s stakeholders, including SCOPI Members, Master Trainers and assisted farmers in 15 provinces. The results showed that almost 90% of respondents were aware of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, most of them have not received clear information on the anticipation measures and available support from the central and local government to cooperatives and coffee farmers. Additionally, from the survey, SCOPI had also gathered aspirations on the desired support for the coffee supply chain during this hard time. They include direct financing support, cash allowances for operations, tax incentives, and warehouse facilities that can be accessed by farmers and SMEs.
In the opening session, Irvan Helmi, SCOPI Chairman of Board Executives mentioned that SCOPI’s position during this time is highly crucial to capture stakeholders’ aspirations and to create a collaborative movement or action that can mitigate the negative impacts on farmers. M. Riza Damanik from the Ministry of Cooperative and SMEs has mentioned that the Government from various ministries and institutions have been exploring schemes and programs to help the micro, small and medium enterprises, including cooperatives and the coffee community in anticipating the COVID-19 pandemic. Budget allocations for health, social safety nets and to support the SMEs have become the Government priority. There are credit relaxation and stimuli for cooperatives and SMEs, Kartu Pra Kerja (Pre-Work Card), cash allowances, stimuli for SMEs product, and SMEs involvement in non-medic masks production.
Meanwhile, Hendratmojo Bagus Hudoro from the Ministry of Agriculture has presented that his institution had made several policies such as credit relaxation and to prepare alternatives for export markets. The interest rate for People’s Business Credit (i.e. Kredit Usaha Rakyat/KUR) is as low as 6% per annum, without collateral for loans with a maximum value of IDR 50 million. Alternatives market for a large commodity such as coffee has been analyzed, such as to countries such as Germany, France, the United States, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, and South Africa.
Representing SCOPI’s Board Members, Wildan Mustofa from CV Frinsa had portrayed that the SMEs have been adapting to the coffee selling scheme, such as focusing on online trade and giving discounts. Small and medium scale cafes have adopted a few sales tactics such as becoming a market place partners, providing discounts and delivery service. The sales have severely decreased by approximately 90%. The upstream players will continue to buy coffee from farmers, however, at a smaller amount.
As a follow up to the discussion, SCOPI has been developing a scheme and suggestions for concrete actions that can be done by SCOPI as a national platform for sustainable coffee and its relevant stakeholders. SCOPI also in the progress of developing a COVID-19 Resource Center on its website, filled with relevant links and Q&As on COVID- 19 related to the coffee sector in Indonesia.
Another virtual meeting has been done on 20 April 2020, where SCOPI was invited by the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs to share the aspirations from Members/Partners. In addition, SCOPI was asked to provide data on the Indonesian coffee sector and examples from SCOPI Members/Partners to equip the Minister’s meeting material with the President of the Republic of Indonesia on 22 April 2020. A virtual meeting was also held on 27 April 2020 to gain more insights and more aspirations, which was participated by the SCOPI Board Members, Grand Master Trainers, and SCOPI Members who do export activities.