This was the first time I had journeyed to Sumatra, in the north of Indonesia. Very far north in fact, in the small village of Takengon at the foot of the Gayo Mountains and more than 2,000 km from Jakarta.
The women at the Ketiara Cooperative were extremely welcoming – I say women not because the men were less friendly, but because this cooperative is 90% managed by and made up of women.
The cooperative’s chairwoman and founder, Rahmah, is a very determined woman. “Ketiara” means “success” in the Gayo language and, now, ten years after its creation, it is clear that Rahmah was a visionary as she now runs one of the most important cooperatives in the region.
We are working with Ketiara on a wet-hulled and certified organic coffee for our Terroir range, called Shere Khan. It is a micro-regional coffee sourced from a few neighbouring villages that meet Belco’s altitude requirements.
Once back in Medan, I took the opportunity to visit Klasik Beans’ new mill. We are hoping this new addition will give us coffees offering the same rich distinctive features as those found in the southern islands. Lington, Honey, Natural – watch this space, more information coming soon!
This trip to Sumatra marked a first step for us, a first step towards a sourcing method as thorough as that already used in the southern islands, and always with the same quality and traceability objectives!
We are sharing this information with you so that you can inform your customers, then together we can create a sustainable future for all these coffee aficionados responsible for our coffees.
Angel, for the Belco team.