Taru Martani, Cigar van Java, Yogyakarya, Indonesia

Taru Martani was founded in 1918 when a cigar make from the netherlands started a private company in Yogyakarta named NV Negresco. During the Jaoanese occupations in 1942, the company was taken over by Japanese authorities and renames Jawa Tobacco Kojo. When the Japanese lost power in Indonesia, the Indonesian government took over NV Negresco and His Royal Highness Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX, Sultan of Yogyakarta, changed the name to Taru Martani (the leaf of life). In 1949, however, VN Negresco again took control of the company but did not see profit until 1951 because it did not have the ability to produce cigars. In 1952 the Yogyakarta Special Province Government, in cooperation with the State Industrial Bank of Jakarta, reactivated the company under the name of PT Taru Martani (Taru Martani Co, Ltd). The first director was prof. Kertanegara who was assisted by Mr Habraken, a cigar expert fron the Netherlands. In 1960 the Indonesian government took over the comoany. However in 1966 the Yogyakarta Special province Government received authority to manage the company as a state owned enterprise. In 1972 the Yogyakarta Special province Government initiated partnership with Douwe Egberts Tabaksmaatchappij BV, a Netherlands-based company, and created a joint-venture company named PT Taru Martani Baru but did not see any profit for the next fourteen years. The company reverted to full state ownership after Douwe Egberts Tabaksmaatchappij BV pulled out of the partnership.

Taru Martani is currently employing around 270 workers, and it can yield up to 5 million cigars a year, 70% of which are for foreign markets like the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the US, Southeast Asian, France, Taiwan and Australia,. The cigars it has been making since 1918, Senator and Mundi Victor, are still in production. Taru Martani opens for tourist to visit.

This year Taru Martani is 94. For almost a century it has been bringing fine cigars to people.  And for almost a century it has been witnessing the ups and downs of Indonesia.