Supporting Local Producers
From cultivating our own produce, to working directly with local producers and building sustainable livelihoods for partner farmers and farmers’ groups, Bali Direct is committed to developing sustainable and ethical supply chains that provide primary producers with market access.
Having our own vegetable farm is our foundation and represents our links to other producers. Situated high on the slopes of Bali’s second highest volcano and close to our ancestral family home, we started Ariesta farms on virgin volcanic soil in 2008. We now produce over 50 varieties of organic vegetables and herbs that are harvested daily just before the break of dawn. We have trained and supported a group of local farmers to produce to the same standards and have supported this group to access markets.
We have worked extensively with small farmers and producers across Indonesia’s diverse archipelago, including those in cocoa, coffee, coconut, vegetable, salt, rice, seaweed, nutmeg, clove and pepper production, to name just a few. We have witnessed first hand how complex markets, climate change, limited access to credit and the vagaries and pressures of economic development have put pressure on traditional production practices. Primary production is increasingly losing its biodiversity and high input use and overly intensive farming have drained the strength out of fragile soils. Cultivation is becoming an increasingly unattractive option for young farmers and as a result knowledge of production practices that respect environmental integrity is being lost.
We have been working with farmers groups across Indonesia to support farming to become an attractive livelihood option that is based on production practices with social and environmental integrity. Some examples:
- Farmers groups in Kulonprogro, Central Java, who use traditional practices to process coconut sugar from the pure flower blossom nectar of the coconut tree. Bali Direct has supported these groups to attain Indonesian government standards and find a market for their sugar.
- Buana Mekar Tani, a 200 member strong organic cacao farmers group in Bali, has received organic certification for their cacao, yet are still selling the fermented cacao bean raw. Bali Direct is supporting the group to access technical support for further processing into cacao powder, butter and nibs, so as to capture greater value from their organic beans.
- Bali Direct is working directly with a group of sea-salt farmers in Bali who have received government support to upgrade their production methods for their distinctive and high quality sea-salt.
We have years of experience in working with farmers groups on development projects funded by international organisations, such as USAID and IFAD, NGOs such as Oxfam and HIVOS and the Indonesian government. Through Bali Direct we are able to apply this experience directly to support entrepreneur driven growth that brings benefits to local communities and that makes farming a viable and interesting option for Indonesian farmers.