Helianti Hilman


JAVARA works across agricultural value chains from production to distribution in order to preserve Indonesia’s biodiversity and bring community-based, organic products to broader markets.

Focus: Food, Agriculture
Geographic Area of Impact: Indonesia
Model: Social Business
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 15,000 (2014)
Annual Budget: USD 1.7 million (2014)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 100% (2014)

The Social Problem
Indonesia has a rich history of food biodiversity including over 7,000 heirloom rice varieties, spices, herbs, tropical fruits and marine products produced using indigenous and artisanal methods. However with the passage of time many indigenous food plants and traditional methods have become extinct or are nearing extinction, thus reducing the value of the raw materials and negatively impacting the farmers who are dependent on them. Many interventions launched to improve this situation often remain localised with limited beneficiaries. They tend to address specific challenges across the value chain such as focusing narrowly on yield enhancement while not proving market linkages or simply extending subsidies or grants to farmers. Such interventions do not ensure the sustainability of either the farmer’s livelihoods or the intervention itself. As a result, millions of small-scale farmers and food processors remain materially and financially unable to benefit from international and domestic market opportunities.

Innovation and Activities
Inspired by indigenous farmers and food artisans striving to preserve Indonesia’s food biodiversity, JAVARA sells over 600 artisanal products and works with 50,000 small holder farmers across Indonesia. The company intervenes along the supply chains to strengthen supplier’s production capacity, improve workplace safety and markets products nationally and internationally, securing premium prices for the farmers and processors.

At the sourcing end, JAVARA’s value chain includes farmers with small landholdings, organised into farmer collectives. JAVARA creates local farm-entrepreneurs and helps them develop high market potential produce and supports them to adopt sustainable and economically beneficial farming practices such as crop rotation or inter-cropping. Over 3,000 food artisans are also trained by JAVARA to reach and maintain high food safety and quality standards. These processors source from these collectives and add-value through processing. When there is strong local capacity, the farmer collectives handle the processing operations. JAVARA then purchases, markets and distributes these products. This model ensures transparent pricing structures and allows all involved stakeholders to benefit from selling value added products.

At the marketing end, the company works with over 25 partners across 18 countries in Europe, America and Asia. The company engages in co-branding partnerships and has 60 domestic partners, which include large retailers, premium supermarkets and hotel chains that carry JAVARA labelled products.

The Entrepreneur
Prior to JAVARA, Helianti has founded a number of social enterprises in Indonesia. Her signature brand, JAVARA, is one of Indonesia’s leading purveyors of artisanal products. Originally trained as a lawyer who has advised the Indonesian government on intellectual property development, Helianti was also a rural economic development consultant for international development organisations. Inspired by the wealth of Indonesia’s biodiversity and dedication of indigenous farmers, Helianti brings her passion for community based business and expertise in agribusiness to establish her social enterprise.