Joint Statement: Starbucks and Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) Partner to Promote Ethiopia’s Coffee and Benefit the Country’s Coffee Farmers
Representatives of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and senior leaders from Starbucks Coffee Company today announced that they have concluded an agreement regarding distribution, marketing and licensing that recognizes the importance and integrity of Ethiopia’s specialty coffee designations.
“Ethiopia salutes Starbucks for its exemplary display of global corporate citizenship. This alliance highlights the significance of visionary entrepreneurs in creating space for win-win engagements between corporations that operate globally and developing countries such as ours,” said Dr. Samuel Assefa, the Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States.
“Starbucks has reiterated its commitment that it will not oppose Ethiopia’s efforts to obtain trademarks for its specialty coffees. What we have learned in our dealings with Starbucks over the last several months is that the company listens to its stakeholders’ concerns and is attentive to the plight of the poor farmers who produce the finest specialty coffees in the world,” continued Ambassador Samuel Assefa.
The agreement is an important step in the ongoing collaboration between the Government of Ethiopia and Starbucks to promote Ethiopia’s specialty coffees. It provides a framework for mutual cooperation to promote the recognition of the Harrar, Sidamo and Yirgacheffe designations and to strengthen the Ethiopian coffee sector, and includes the license of certain trademarks. The agreement allows Starbucks to use and promote these designations in markets both where trademarks exist for the coffee designations as well as where they may not, in accordance with agreed terms and conditions.
“Our customers know that some of the highest quality coffees in the world come from Ethiopia,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, “We are extremely pleased that this agreement supports both the Ethiopian specialty coffee industry and the farmers and their communities that produce these fine coffees while allowing us to bring them to our customers around the world.”
This agreement will expand on the continuing efforts to promote and sell Ethiopia’s exceptionally high quality coffees.
“This agreement marks an important milestone in our efforts to promote and protect Ethiopia’s specialty coffee designations. Having the commitment and support of Starbucks will help enhance the quality of Ethiopian fine coffees and improve the income of farmers and traders,” commented Getachew Mengistie, Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office Director General, “This agreement provides cause to be very optimistic about the future of the Ethiopian coffee industry.”
The Government of Ethiopia and Starbucks Coffee look forward to continuing to develop their relationship and collaborate on ways to help build the Ethiopian coffee sector.
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