Challenging the Status Quo

By: Al Liu

In spite of its relatively young age, Ketiara quickly has established itself as one the most-respected Fair Trade cooperatives in the Gayo Highlands of Sumatra due to the excellent quality of its coffees, efficient contract performance, and a focus on innovation and continuous improvement. The group’s leader, Rahmah, is a force in the local coffee industry in spite of being a woman in the traditional, male-dominated Gayonese society. Her vision and tenacity have served as the foundation for Ketiara’s success, and within a few short years Atlas has developed a strong relationship with the group and introduced various roaster clients to its coffees. In contrast to the classic Sumatra profile dominated by notes of earth, cedar, and bell pepper, Ketiara’s coffees often feature fruit tones ranging from cherry and grape to citrus and pineapple, combined with lively acidity and creamy body. Atlas sources Gr.1 Fair Trade/organic and organic-only from Ketiara, some of which have increased traceability even within the cooperative. Lots from women producers bear the “Queen Ketiara” name, while the “Bintang di Rahmah” (Star of Rahmah) brand created by Atlas refers to lots from a collection of specific villages.

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