I have recently been inspired by a blogger from Australia to get back into the groove and write about my passion. Coffee. If you have ever started a blog and then stopped for whatever reason(s) you know how difficult it can be to get back into the groove. It was tempting to just ditch the old blog and start fresh, you know like the other one never happened. I couldn’t do it. Okay, so then what next? Try to pick up where I left off? Not possible, too much has happened in the last year to ever go back. So I will start again by stating our mission and goals both personal and professionl and how we have adapted them to the reality of the coffee industry. We set out with a mission to grow and source great arabicas here in Simalungun, North Sumatra and also to improve the processing practices in our region. Two very big goals, two very determined people. These goals are still a work in progress, growing coffee can involve sacrifice on multiple levels. It takes time, patience and diligence. I believe there is coffee here in North Sumatra worthy of the highest honor a grower can receive for putting in the time and doing the diligence, it’s called the Cup of Excellence.I want it, why not aim high? Check out this link to learn more about this organization and how they have worked to develop recognition and reward for coffee growers all over the world that strive for excellence.
We are into our second full year with Lisa & Leo’s Organic Coffee farm and the fruit is starting to develop on our trees. This is reason enough to be all giddy with excitement, however, there’s more to report……
Our limited budget wouldn’t allow us to develop a local Coffee Mill large enough to serve the growers in our region who were looking for someone to partner with in order to improve their processing methods. A common goal was to keep the coffee grown in the region separated from other regions prior to export and develop traceable coffee that could be marketed as direct trade. The growers and region would finally receive the recognition for all their hard work in the field. This type of goal requires a huge commitiment of manpower and funding. Which is where PT Volkopi comes in. This forward thinking company has been working in Sumatra for more than a decade, developing partnerships with growers and suppliers in the Lintong Region. They have made a commitment to Simalungun by funding and constructing a Processing Mill in Saribu Dolok, our home village. This Mill opened in September 2012 and is being managed by a transparent group with an established network of growers and leaders, all part of the local church known here as GKPS and CUM Talenta, their Credit Union. Leo is proud to be named the project manger for the Saribu Dolok Mill by Mike Lutz, GM of PT Volkopi. They are working to make the common goal of consistent quality control and traceable coffee processing a reality in Simalungun. This mill will be key in the success of the region, making the Cup of Excellence an achievable goal.
We have much to be thankful for. All the sacrifices and hard work are bearing fruit, just like our trees. I offer my personal thanks now to that blogger from Australia, Richard Austin with Five Senses Coffee- all the best to you and your family! Many thanks to Mike Lutz with Volkopi for bringing his vision and commitment to Simalungun.
Lisa Matthews Wiriadjaja