• Germany edition
 
Coffee giant in hot water over African grounds
Photo: DPA

Coffee giant in hot water over African grounds

Published: 02 Apr 2012 16:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Apr 2012 13:40 GMT+02:00

Hamburg-based Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) has 10 percent of the global coffee market share, and supplies Dallmayr among other firms.

NKG head Michael Neumann personally laid the foundation stone for the Kaweri plantation alongside Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni back in 2001.

But it was reported on Monday that just a few days before the ceremony, government troops drove around 400 Ugandan farmers off the 2,500 hectare piece of land, beating workers and destroying their huts and crops.

The Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper said the farmers and their families, around 2,000 people in all, have been fighting for compensation ever since, and have won the support of human rights organization Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN).

Together the organizations have brought several lawsuits against both the Ugandan government and NKG's subsidiary company Kaweri, but it has been protracted process.

Judges have been changed several times, and NKG itself has missed several negotiation deadlines.

The farmers did not directly own the land, but Ugandan common law gives them legal rights to its use, because they had been working it for so long before they were evicted, the paper said.

But Neumann told the Frankfurter Rundschau that the land was "the legal property of the Ugandan Investment Authority (UAI), and has been leased to Kaweri for 99 years."

The farmers also argue that the Kaweri plantation has annexed some 500 hectares of neighbouring land, owned by 80-year-old farmer Anna Nandyose Katende. The Frankfurter Rundschau said it had seen her title deeds for this land, which is to be re-measured this week to prove the land was illegally taken by the German-owned company.

Dallmayr has consistently claimed that it only buys coffee from sustainable sources, and NKG argues that the Kaweri plantation has brought new jobs, educational opportunities, electricity and fresh water to the area.

But FIAN spokeswoman Gertrud Falk says that while the new electricity and water supply had raised the standard of living for some of the local population, many farmers simply no longer have any income to afford the new facilities. As a consequence the number of children going to school has reportedly dropped.

"We won't let go," Falk told the paper. "The expulsion is unjustifiable and is a blatant violation of human rights and Ugandan law."

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:52 April 2, 2012 by Navigator_B
That shouldn't come as any surprise. The Museveni regime in Uganda was one of the main players in the Congo war, which was waged to loot as much as possible  of that country's huge natural resources and which killed millions of innocent people in the process.
Today's headlines
Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims
Floral tributes were laid on Tuesday at the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims

A 24-metre blue glass wall in Berlin has been unveiled to commemorate the systematic murder of up to 300,000 mentally ill and disabled people under Adolf Hitler. READ  

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees
Migrants aboard an Italian navy patrol vessel in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday pledged support for his Italian colleague in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. READ  

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week
Elephant Nelly takes part in the ice bucket challenge in a Lower Saxony safari park. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week

The coffers of the German Society for Muscular Disease (DGM) are overflowing with donations thanks to the viral craze for videos of donors dousing themselves with ice-cold water. READ  

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict
The GRIAT will open in the Russian city of Kazan. Photo: Shutterstock

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pressing ahead with its German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) against a backdrop of international tensions over Ukraine. READ  

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,413
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd