Sulawesi is a starfish shaped island, far older than the rest of the Indonesian archipelago, with a complex geography that includes thousand-foot rock walls exploding vertically out of rice paddy fields and capped in perpetual mist. Coffee is grown in this geographic wonderland at elevations that reach 2000 MASL, considered to be some of the highest growing elevations in all of Indonesia. The Toraja people who grow the coffee are an indigenous group with a traditional village lifestyle that includes houses resembling boats and animist rituals called aluk to dolo (the way of the ancestors) that are reminiscent of Santeria. In recent years the Toraja Coffee Growers Cooperative has been collaborating with an NGO called VECO, which is dedicated to improving farmer access to better agricultural practices for quality coffee production and improving coffee farm infrastructure. The partnership has helped to improve quality, increase earnings from coffee sales, and is strengthening farmers’ livelihoods. --Info Courtesy of Royal Coffee
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