The legend says that the first coffee berries were discovered by an Ethiopian goat herd circa 800 A.D. The shepherd noticed that his modest herd started to jump happily every time they chewed on the cherry-red berries. He decided to try them himself and to his surprise, felt almost immediately energized. And so the humble coffee bean began its journey.
Coffee started gaining in popularity in the Arabian Peninsula and the Ottoman Empire, first as an energy-rich snack ball (mixed with fat) and later as wine. The actual name coffee derives from the word qahwah which is the Yemeni term for wine.
The pits of the cherry-like berry won their place in European society in 1615, when Venetian merchants brought them home from Istanbul. Thirty years later, the first coffee houses were opened in Italy and spread from there to the rest of the continent. Today, there are approximately 25 million farmers in over 50 countries that are involved in coffee processing or production. Coffee is one of the most widely traded agricultural commodities on earth. An average person drinks about 1.6 cups of coffee per day, with Finland having the highest consumption per capita in the world: 12 kg annually, the equivalent of 3.4 cups a day.
For over ten years Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has played a major role in ensuring that the world’s cups are filled with traceable and sustainable coffee. We work with certification and verification programs such as 4C, CAFE Practices, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ certified, Fairtrade and Organic to source and respond to the growing customer demand for coffee that is grown and traded ethically and sustainably.
To find out more, go to the Coffee section of our website here.