Ketiara is made up of 1014 smallhold farmers in the Gayo Highlands of Central Aceh – the northernmost province of Sumatra. More than 70% of the farmers are women. All coffee from the cooperative is certified Organic and grown by farmers from 19 villages in Aceh Tengah and Bener Meriah. There they work the rich volcanic land without the use of chemicals to promote healthy soil and long-lasting forests and clean water sources.
The local members are well-informed about Sumatra prices through cell phones, which are crucial for daily price updates in the volatile internal market. Despite the recent low commodity market price, producers are aware that their local market can fetch three times the price. Ms. Rahmah motivates producer members through fair compensation, far exceeding the internal market price, as well as several community programs. These programs include seedling donations, workshops on organic fertilizer production, equipment maintenance, farm improvement, and even university scholarships. As a result, producer members who sell to Ketiara remain highly committed to the cooperative, as their premium coffee quality commands higher prices than offered by multinational companies.