Not liking how corporations are run and avoiding them if at all possible as a consumer, there are few exceptions, UCC Coffee is one exception. Japan is currently going through a coffee boom and UCC Ueshima Coffee is leading the way with revenue in 2015 of ¥138.5 billion. UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd. (UCC上島珈琲株式会社 Yū Shī Shī Ueshima Kōhī Kabushiki-gaisha?) manufactures coffee and tea products with their headquarters in Kobe, Hyōgo, Japan. “UCC” stands for “Ueshima Coffee Company”. UCC introduced the world’s first canned coffee in 1969 which is synonymous now with vending machines in Japan. UCC owns a Kona coffee farm on the island of Hawaii. The company is a part of the UCC Group. Tadao Ueshima is considered the “father of coffee” in Japan bringing coffee to the post city of Kobe first back in 1933. With UCC coffee plantation in Kona Hawaii, it produces some of the most expensive coffee in the world because of Hawaii’s almost perfect climate for coffee plants. In 2015, UCC Coffee opened its UCC Coffee Academy in Tokyo.
United Coffee, the biggest independent coffee business in Europe, was sold to UCC Holdings for €500 million, becoming the latest food and drink asset in the continent to go to a Japanese acquirer. The latest deal in 2012 by UCC Coffee saw the family-owned UCC buy the supplier of coffee to outlets including UK supermarket chain Tesco and fast-food restaurant McDonald’s from CapVest. CapVest is a the private equity firm located in the UK. When UCC purchased United Coffee of Europe in 2012, it was the first Asian coffee company buying a European firm. Despite weaknesses in Japan’s economy, negative interest rates and negative bonds, Japan’s UCC Coffee is booming. UCC Coffee is a family run private company and for this reason I really like this Japanese run company. Currently, UCC Coffee runs 650 chain stores around the world with UCC a unique company controlling the coffee from seed to end product.