In Torajanese, Rante means “mountain” and karua means “eight”. This coffee is grown in the areas around the eight mountains that stand on the border between Bittuang, Tana Toraja Regency, and Awan, North Toraja Regency.
Rantekarua Coffee Plantation was opened by a Dutchman, H. J. Stock van Dykk, in the colonial era. However, during the revolutionary era the plantation seemed to disappear until it was taken over by the Indonesian government who gave the cultivation rights to PT Sulotco Jaya Abadi in 1987.
Based on this history, the farm calls this coffee the "Lost Coffee".
The plantation is mostly located on the hillside of Rantekarua Mountain about 1400-1800 MASL, spanning around 1200 hectares in Tana Toraja and North Toraja Regency.
Approximately 1,000,000 coffee trees are being grown on the plantation, continuously being replanted to improve productivity. This plantation is managed by the partner farmers under the supervision of an agronomy manager. After the harvesting season, Abadi implements his own revenue-sharing system: 60% of the crop's revenue is allocated for the partner farmers and 40% for the company.
The farm cultivates certified organic coffee by using sheep manure to enrich the soil. For this, Abadi donates 2,000 sheep to the farmers who then collect sheep droppings to use them for their own crop or sell them to the company to then produce their own organic fertilizer.
Leaves from lamtoro trees are also provided to feed the sheep and to serve as shields for the coffee plants. If needed the farmers can make their own organic pesticide from natural components, such as betel leaves, areca nuts, and yam.
Climate is one of the main factors that affect harvesting season in Rantekarua Plantation. Since it is located at a high altitude, the climate is mostly wet, causing the harvest season to be in May-September with the peak season being in July-August. During harvest season there will be many people who come to the plantation, most of them are families of the farmers. Soon after being harvested, the coffee cherries are transported to the processing plant.
The coffee is processed at a factory in Bolokan Village, Tana Toraja Regency, then departs by small trucks to the capital of Tana Toraja Regency, Makale City. From the city of Makale, it is then transferred to a larger truck to be sent to an export warehouse in the city of Makassar, South Sulawesi.
Through the sale of Rantekarua coffee; a kindergarten, elementary school, and junior high school have been built within the plantation for the children of the farmers and employees.
As part of their environmental campaign, Rantekarua are keeping 200 hectares of land as a conservation area. Together with local youth organisations, they are planting trees on vacant land for landslide prevention and investing in wood for the future.
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Information provided by Falcon Coffees Limited