In Africa, coffee production can come at a harrowing cost, as the case of the Mubende coffee plantation exemplifies. The 2001 land-grabbing incident saw Hamburg-based Neumann group, a leading raw coffee trader, force over 4,000 Ugandans off their land to make way for the new plantation. The military razed houses and huts to the ground, destroyed fields and food supplies, and even cost the lives of a number of locals.
The Price of Coffee is a gripping documentary that follows the victims’ journey to justice. Lost everything they had, many of those evicted were left homeless. Human rights groups step in, and the Ugandan government and the Neumann concern are finally taken to court. The trial is dragged out over several years until a ruling is finally reached in 2013 – in favor of the plaintiffs. Nonetheless, the victims’ struggle continued as the original judgement was provisionally overturned by the Ugandan appeals court in 2015. The film captures this under-reported story of injustice and resilience, bringing forth the broader global issue of the dark side of coffee production.