Submitted by Starbucks Corporation
We are recognized as a positive force to the Ethiopian coffee farmer. In Ethiopia, just as in all the countries where we buy coffee, we pay premium prices. Between 2002 and 2006 we increased our Ethiopian coffee purchases by 480 percent and increased the price we paid for Ethiopian coffee by approximately 50 percent.
This month, we have directly suggested ideas to the Ethiopian Government to help sell their coffees and increase consumer awareness as an alternative to their trademark application.
We have never filed an opposition to the Ethiopian government's trademark application, nor claimed ownership to any regional names used to describe the origin of our coffees; however, we believe a far better alternative to protect geographically descriptive terms and ensure they represent quality products that come from a specific region is through a geographic certification program.
Because coffee and our relationship with farmers are so fundamental to our business, we wanted to set the record straight with the media and all of our stakeholders. Starbucks CEO Jim Donald and Senior Vice President Dub Hay have today spoken with Ethiopian farmers (as we regularly do) to ensure they understand our position on this issue.
For more detailed information about Starbucks position regarding its relationship with Ethiopian coffee farmers and Ethiopia's proposal to trademark specialty coffee names, please visit www.starbucks.com/aboutus/pressdesc.asp?id=713.
Copyright Business Wire 2006
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