In 2006, prominent businessman John Darch met with a man named Wicha Promyong. That meeting led to the establishment of an equal partnership business venture—a partnership that goes beyond fair trade and shows that capitalism can have a human side. Today the Doi Chaang Coffee Company’s coffee can be found across the world.
Mark Pendergrast takes the reader on a journey through time and place as he leads us through the history of the ancient, persecuted hill tribe, the Akha, from their very roots to their current status as makers of one of the world’s top coffees. Along the way he explains the history of cash crops ranging from opium to coffee, the latter being the crop that has saved the Akha and restored a sense of pride in the Akha people. He tells the story of John Darch and Wicha Promyong and acknowledges their primary role in this story, but he also tells the story of the many people without whom this venture may never have succeeded. This is not a story about charity; it is the story about a real partnership based on a groundbreaking approach to international business practices.