Coffee has been traded for commercial purposes for 400 years. From there, it has spread to approximately 70 countries where it is currently grown. The Dutch were the ones who began to establish economies of scale around the production and export of coffee. Later they grew coffee in Java and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The first exports from Java to the Netherlands occurred in 1711, and the Dutch East India Company was the first multinational corporation in history and the first to export coffee on a large scale.
During these four centuries, a pattern of neo-feudal behaviour has been generated, which has forced small coffee growers to chain themselves into ultra-dependent relationships with large landowners or multinationals, which have caused multimillion-dollar profits for large companies, in addition to the concentration of land, marginalization and slavery. This is how this business model has been perpetuated until today.
The good news about Uganda is that there is great potential. Probably you have heard this many times, and I am sure that nobody reading this article, has ever cupped an outstanding Ugandan lot.
So, where is all that potential when it comes to cupping?
Indonesia was the third country in the world to grow coffee for commercial purposes after Ethiopia and Yemen.
The history of coffee in Indonesia, as in many others producing countries around the world, begins with tales of colonialism, slavery, monopoly and multinational corporations (Yes! The first ones of modern history were set in the early 17th century).