20 August 2014

Ethiopia to Brand and Trademark More Coffee Products

Photo: Jane Beesley/Oxfam
Elias Bechere, a coffee grower among his coffee bushes in Sidama, in the south of Ethiopia. Coffee accounts for 60 per cent of Ethiopia's export earnings.

Ethiopia, as Africa's largest producer of coffee, is expanding its banding and trade marking of more coffees to increase competitiveness and enhance relations with global buyers. It has submitted applications to Australia and Brazil for named brands and trademarks.

Teshome Sileshi, of Ethiopia's Intellectual Property Office says the "objective of the negotiations is also to prevent illegal coffee trade, unfair price fixing and profiteering involving Ethiopian coffee brands in the world market."

He said that so far, "34 countries had recognized and registered brands and trademarks for globally popular and on-demand varieties grown in south and eastern Ethiopia," he said. Twenty-seven of these were members of the European Union, and others included India, Japan, Canada, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, China and South Africa. Coffee is one of Ethiopia's top-earning export crops and generated around $719 million in export earnings during the last 2013/14 financial year.

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