Tanty Hartono, our Coffee Wristbands distributor in Indonesia, raised $250 and with the support of Rivo Trie Septiadiguna, the funds will be used to help coffee cherry pickers in Indonesia.
Tanty Hartono is no stranger to the coffee community in Indonesia. She jumped at the chance to become the ambassador of The Coffee Wristbands to help coffee people in need. When she received her bulk order of Coffee Wristbands, the word spread like wildfire. Tanty feels extremely lucky and blessed to have so many like-minded friends within Indonesia’s coffee community who are eager to make a difference. Another like-minded person she met along the coffee chain is Rivo Trie Septiadiguna.
Rivo is deeply embedded in the coffee farming industry in Indonesia. It’s no surprise that Tanty considered him to be the best person to help determine where the raised funds were needed most. Rivo found 20 people in his surrounding area who, due to their circumstances, could greatly benefit from this donation.
Before Rivo made it into the coffee industry, he worked for a train company. However, he was left feeling unfulfilled and he believed that he had so much more to offer. He yearned to be a part of something that was going to make a difference in people’s lives. Rivo’s background and his education in farming and agriculture propelled him into the coffee farming industry.
With his knowledge, he goes in pursuit of small farms and helps by educating them on the best ways to increase the value of their coffee. Rivo guides them on how to improve the quality of their soil which has a direct impact on the quality of the coffee cherries that will be harvested. He also teaches them how to care for the coffee plants as they grow. He goes on to explain that it’s important to remember that coffee plants are living organisms that need proper care, sustenance, and a healthy environment. When all these factors are taken into consideration, the plants will flourish and produce a high-caliber of coffee. Rivo teaches the farmers that when each of the various processes of coffee farming is done to a high standard, then the coffee quality will be superior.
When Tanty approached Rivo with the money that she raised through the Coffee Wristbands, he did some calculations.
Together, they decided that the money will be used to obtain essential tools for the cherry pickers and 5kg of rice for each of the 20 people in Rivo’s area.
The cherry pickers need baskets to hold the coffee cherries as they pick them; gloves to protect their hands; and large hats to shield them from the blazing sun as they spend hours each day, picking coffee cherries.
We had the pleasure of virtually meeting with Tanty and Rivo and in our discussion, Rivo raised an alarming fact that had us stumped. He informed us that the maximum wage cherry pickers receive is $0,13 USD per kilogram picked. This can take up to an hour. Just to be able to afford a kilogram of rice, they would need to work for 5 hours. It is why Rivo felt that in addition to the tools they require, he wanted to be able to donate 5kg of rice to each of the 20 people.
These cherry pickers work for about 7 hours a day, every day for 6 months out of the year. For the rest of the year, outside of cherry-picking season, they work on other farms. It’s evident that these farmers only earn just about enough to put food on the table for that evening. We know that without their hard work and labor, we wouldn’t have access to coffee in the way we do today.
In our conversation, Tanty and Rivo mention that the farms are far out and hard to access. This is why most of the farmers’ children follow in their parent’s footsteps. If some of them do decide to venture farther than the countryside, the jobs that they find themselves in are most often in labor. This is due to the lack of education and opportunity in the farming areas.
Rivo wants to emphasize that there are more people involved at the farming level other than farm owners. There are those behind the farmers—the cherry pickers. We don’t know their names, but from their hands, we are able to enjoy a cup of coffee. It is critical to shed light on their situation and help them get the recognition they deserve.