Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR may start selling its branded cloves before the end of next year should the ongoing plans bear fruit, the Zanzibar Minister for Trade, Industry, and Marketing, Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, has said.
"We want the project to be effective as soon as possible, hopefully by 2014. We are working closely with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to make the project successful," said Mazrui.
In a joint meeting between officials from ITC and WIPO, and President Ali Mohamed Shein at State House, the minister said that the project has been going on well since last November when a MoU to develop an intellectual property and branding strategy for Zanzibar cloves was signed. Shein expressed satisfaction on the branding project saying it is an opportunity for Zanzibar to protect and strengthen its cloves in the world market.
"Since some countries like Ethiopia have been successful in branding its coffee, why not Zanzibar's cloves," he said. The President said that although the government is promoting tourism as leading contributor to the economy, cloves still remain important to its economy.
"We have to improve its production and market and we acknowledge support from ITC and WIPO," he said. Mr Jacky Charbonneau, who led the ITC delegation to Zanzibar said that his office was working well with the Isles' authorities to make sure that the branding project becomes successful.
According to business experts, branding is a process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
The clove industry has suffered from low production in the past 15 years as a result of low exports and poor management. It is anticipated that through IP protection and a stronger branding of Zanzibar clove, the Islands may re-establish itself as a leading exporter of cloves.