Opium in colonial Java (book)James Rush, Opium in Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise in Colonial Indonesia, 1860-1910 (Equinox, 2010).
Gates and Bloomberg donate half billion to fight smoking
Two American multi-billionaires Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg have joined to donate five hundred million dollars to fight smoking worldwide with emphasis on China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Bangladesh. For details, see here.
Problems for Indonesian tea industry
The Indonesia tea industry suffers from low productivity, low quality, slowness in replanting, and outmoded processing machinery. The result is that exported Indonesia tea can be sold only at a low price. For more, see here.
India hopes to fight Argentina for the American iced tea market
For success in the American market, India's tea exporters must compete in the category of bottled, canned, and packeted (iced) teas, 20% of the USA consumption, and growing even more rapidly than bottled water. Surprisingly Argentina provides nearly half of American tea, while China and Indonesia also sell more tea to the USA than does India. [It is not clear when the statement about Argentina applies only to tea sold in containers or to all imported tea in America.] The problem for India is that its tea becomes cloudy when chilled and smokes when refrigerated. For more, see here. By the way, apparently the only tea plantation is the USA is in South Carolina.
"Fair Trade" concept began in the late 1980s through the Max Havelaar Foundation
The "Fair Trade" designation began in 1988 when the Max Havelaar Foundation provided some coffee grown in Mexico with this label.
By the way, the name Max Havelaar comes from a fictive character in a novel, Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company, whose author was Eduard Douwes Dekker, pen name Multatuli. Published in 1860, the novel is set in the Dutch East Indies, modern Indonesia, and sharply criticized Dutch colonial administrators there. The novel is available in English translation and in 1976 was made into a Dutch-language film.
High tea, India style
The title refers to visiting the tea gardens in the Himalayas. For details, see here.
Colonial Dutch government policy on drug use in Java (article)
Eric W. van Luijk and Jan C. van Ours, "The Effects of Government Policy on Drug Use: Java, 1875-1904," Journal of Economic History 61/1 (March 2001): 1-18.
Indonesia's kopi luwak, premium coffee from wild civet droppings
Supposedly the enzymes of wild civets turn the coffee beans that they eat and then excrete into coffee with unparalleled taste. The price can be as high as $600 per pound (of coffee, that is, and not of civet droppings). For more, see here.
Coffee: who grows it? who drinks it?
India's Financial Times, 5 Feburary 2007, reports on who grows and who drinks coffee. Although there are 25 kinds of coffee grown, two varieties dominate, (mostly) Arabica and (secondly) Robusta. The major producers are Brazil (33.16%), Columbia (11.65%), Vietnam (10.61%), Indonesia (5.97%), Mexico (4.59%) and India (4.60%) that combined produce about 70% of the world's coffee. The major consumers are the United States, Canada, Japan. Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Spain. As an Indian newspaper, the Financial Times mentions that India consumes 30% of the coffee that it grows. For more, see here.
Frontwide World, May 2003, lists the top 10 coffee-importing countries, in order of amount imported, as the United States, Germany (less than half that of the USA), Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom, Poland, and the Netherlands. Per capita the Scandinavian countries drink the most coffee, with Finland averaging more than four cups a day per person. This website lists the ten leading coffee producers, in order of amount produced, as Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Mexico, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Ivory Coast and Uganda. Nearly 25 million farmers grow coffee in more than fifty countries. For more, see here.
Coffee's threat to hairy rhinos
About 20% of the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Sumatra already has been turned into illegal coffee planatations. If this trend continues, hairy rhinos and other wildlife will disappear in a decade. Indonesia is the world's fourth largest producer of coffee (after Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam. For more, see here.