Southeast Asia

Sumatra is home to some of the highest-quality coffee in the world, grown by thousands of smallholder farmers.

These farmers work with cooperatives and social enterprises to process their goods and ensure they’re earning a fair price on the international market. Root Capital finances and trains these businesses so they have the tools they need to grow their reach, protect fragile ecosystems, and increase financial independence for women.

In this region we currently work in Indonesia.

Stories of Impact

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Gender Equity in Indonesian Agriculture

Ibu Rizkani is a woman who is shattering gender expectations in Indonesian agriculture. She is the Founder and Position Chair of Kokowagayo, the first women-owned and led cooperative in Sumatra, Indonesia. Prior to running her own coffee business, she worked with another cooperative, which consisted of 95% male employees...

How A Public-Private Partnership Helped Agricultural Enterprises Weather the Pandemic

Permata Gayo cooperative members stand outside the cooperative’s headquarters in Aceh, Indonesia. Credit: Root Capital. Sixty percent of the world’s coffee supply comes from smallholder farmers with less than five hectares of land. While their products may account for more than half of the world’s coffee beans, small agricultural cooperatives often lack access to finance and therefore are unable to…

How Indonesia’s Coffee Farmers Are Protecting Its Most Critical Forest

In this remote corner of Sumatra, Indonesia, thirty-foot long pythons slither across the jungle floors as leopards prowl the canopy above. The Leuser Ecosystem covers an awe-inspiring landscape from the peaks of towering mountains to the depths of peat-rich bog lands.  This ecosystem is the last place on earth where orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers coexist, and it’s a safe…

This Woman Is Making Her Mark on Indonesia’s Coffee Industry

In the misty Gayo highlands of northern Sumatra, Ibu Rahmah is making her mark on Indonesia’s coffee industry.

A Journey Through the Coffee Lands of Indonesia

When we made our first loan to Indonesian coffee cooperative Ketiara in 2014, it was the first loan we had made in Asia in nearly 10 years. Now, a little over a year later, we have five clients in the region – four of which are high-impact coffee cooperatives situated in the highlands of western Sumatra, in the region around Takengon. New Zealand-based photographer Blake Dunlop was recently in Indonesia helping us collect photos of the beautiful backdrops of Takengon, the smiling faces of coffee farmers in the region, and a few of the coffee businesses we’re proud to work with. The images he captured were so stunning that we had to share them on our blog. Check out the photos below, all courtesy of Blake: Low lying clouds over coffee farms in the village of Simpang Tiga

Sourcing from Sumatra: A Conversation with Al Liu of Atlas Coffee

Al Liu, former board director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), is a true coffee connoisseur. As a trader and certified coffee specialist for Atlas Coffee Importers, Al has traveled extensively throughout the world's coffee lands, including those in Indonesia – the latest country added to Root Capital’s growing roster of coffee-growing locales. We recently sat down with Al to get a coffee insider’s perspective on the Indonesian coffee market, the country’s smallholder landscape and the significance of Root Capital’s new presence in Sumatra.  Al Liu (in green) with collectors at Koperasi Permata Gayo in Bener Meriah, Sumatra.