Fair Trade Provides Hope for the Future

By Laura

Indonesian coffees are prized for their complexity. The unusual processing techniques used by the farmers create a distinctive coffee experience; a mosaic of heady aromas and pungent flavors that tumbles around in the mouth.

We began working with farmers from the areas near Lake Tawar in 1997, when we provided start up money to create an organic coffee cooperative.  Since then, we’ve helped the cooperative build a community center, a water supply system, and a seedling nursery. In the wake of the 2004 tsunami-earthquake, many of our employees donated money for disaster relief, and the company matched their donations.

Today, the cooperative is thriving. With the premium received from Fair Trade prices, the community has been able to build new roads, schools, and a clean water supply.


Lindsey Bolger, our Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships, recently visited the Lake Tawar region to meet with farmers who contribute to our Fair Trade Certified™ Sumatran coffees. She was introduced to Fauziah, a 30-year-old farmer who was looking forward to a brighter future.

“Now that we’ve joined a Fair Trade Certified co-op,” she told Lindsey, “we know that there will be funds available to help us improve quality and yields.”

Single Origin Sumatran Lake Tawar has a syrupy body with notes of clove and cardamom. Independent coffee critic Kenneth Davids gave it 89 points in October, 2007.

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