Deli Tobacco History
The history of Deli Tobacco starting in the year 1863 when Said Abdullah Bilsagih – Arabic native from Surabaya and a brother in law of Sultan Deli.
He has success planting a tobacco in the Sultan land. He tried to promote and looking an investor to open a tobacco plantation in that area.
Then he do a road-trip from North Sumatera to Batavia (now is Jakarta, capital of Indonesia). In Batavia he meets with Dutch businessman from the company P van den Arend and other businessman.
Later on, in May 1, 1863 they send a merchant ship Josephine from Van Leeuwen en Mainz & Co. to Medan, and July 7, 1983 the ship depart at Medan bringing Jacobus Nienhuys, Van der Valk and Elliot. J Nienhuys knowing as tobacco expert from Lumajang plantation, East Java.
To open the plantation, the Sultan of Deli Mahmud Perkasa Alam given a piece of land near Labuhan, Tanjung Sepasai, with an agreement for 20 years of usage (erfpacht).
Soon after Nienhuys see the location, the start planning a tobacco seed. After the harvesting of tobacco leafs they send the tobacco leafs to Rotterdam on March 1864, and got a good market there.
The plantation area that now knowing as Hamparan Perak Districts, Deli Serdang Regency. Since then, with a permission of the Sultan, they open some new plantation area such like Helvetia plantation in 1867, Martubung and Sunggal in 1869, and Sungai Beras and Klumpang in 1975.
The tobacco become famous in Europe and called as Deli Tobacco, at that time mostly uses as a cigar wrapper.
The tobacco later named as Deli tobacco, and to running the business of the plantation they setup a comany named Jacobus Nieunhuijs Deli Maatschappij.
The tobacco leafs shipped to Amsterdam via Rotterdam. since then the tobacco leafs from Deli are very famous all around world, until now the plantation still running and exported the tobacco leafs under the Indonesian Stated Owned Plantation company or PTPN II administration.
In 1869 Nienhuys open an office in Medan, and September 19, 1879 established a club named Club House of the Witte Societeit, now knowing as Medan Club.
That club accommodates a tobacco community in Medan. The building of the club itself starting used in 1887 after they finish the development.
To get a high quality aged tobacco leaf need more time, at least two years for fermentation period. Cigar smokers in Europe or Cuba – Club de Fumadores de Cuba mostly known the quality of cigar that uses a wrapper or filler from Sumatera – they called Sumatra, and Java.
It has a good taste and flavor, medium-to-full. Cuba tobacco has well known since 16th century, and Deli-Sumatera tobacco well known in the market since 19th century.
Since then Deli-Sumatera tobacco become a legend in Europe, until today, even the price is expensive.
Bremen Tobacco Stock market
Indonesia has exported high quality tobacco leaf especially to Europe for more than 50 years. Mostly the tobacco leaf coming from Deli, North Sumatera (cigar producers called Sumatra).
The market is in Bremen tobacco stock market in Germany. The transaction happen in the luxury owned by Deutsch Indonesiache Tabak – Handelsgesellschaft MBH&Co, located at 1 Speicherfof str., Bremen.
The tobacco leaves own by the 10th and 2nd Stated Owned Agriculture Company or PTPN X, Surabaya and PTPN II, Medan. Until 1959, the market for tobacco leafs from Indonesia selling in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
But nowadays the transaction is not crowd as a few years ago. The situation of tobacco farm in Indonesia now is the poor condition.
The plantation not wide like in the past, due to the government policy to changes the plantation system. Most of the tobacco plantation in north Sumatera has changes into other agriculture product such like chocolate and palm for crude palm oil.
A rumor said that the PTPN II also wants to close the tobacco farm. Many of plantation land have changes into a golf court and a housing complex.
That is why during the transaction of the tobacco leaf in Bremen there is not crowded as usual; most of the cigar manufacturer representative around the world in the building mostly is empty. But, due the quality of the tobacco leaf from Deli, North Sumatera and the other from Jember and Besuki, East Java, all the tobacco leaf are sold out.
Many major cigar factories taking an interest with the tobacco leaves from Indonesia. In Europe, the tobacco leaf from Deli, North Sumatera mostly uses as cigar wrapper, while the tobacco long leaf from Jember and Besuki, East Java uses for cigar filler.
The prime cigar producers in Netherlands; PT Cigar Group Holding BV (the Netherlands-Denmark) who’s produce Henri Wintermans Cigars and Nobel Cigars, looks like not so sure that Indonesia will be able to supply their needs of tobacco leafs in the future.
The others buyers from Europe are J. cortez from Belgium, Royal Agio and De Olifant from the Netherlands, and Villiger a Swiss-Germany.
The tobacco seeds from Deli, this time also planting in Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico and some countries in Africa. In the other hand, Indonesian Government in this case PTPN II has pan to close the Deli Tobacco plantation. Ironic……