Agri Business

Coffee Board to monetise ‘Coffees of India’ logos

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on January 30, 2015

New initiative expected to encourage and promote the Indian brew in overseas markets

Exporters, traders, roasters and curers displaying the ‘Coffees of India’ and the other regional/speciality coffee trademarks on their packages will now have to seek the Coffee Board’s permission to do so and pay a fee for using each logo.

The State-run Coffee Board, which had devised the unique identities/logos and trademarks under the umbrella brand ‘Coffees of India’, has filed for registration of some 19 logos as the Certification of Trademarks.

Issuing certificates

The Registrar of Trademarks, Chennai, has issued the registration certificate for about nine logos including the Robusta Kaapi Royale, Pulneys, Annamalais, Chikmagalur, Coorg and Coffee Swami.

Another set of ten applications for logos such as Mysore Nuggets and Monsooned Malabar are pending registration, though provisional numbers have been issued for the same.

Coffee Board is the sole custodian of the trademark of all logos and those planning to use them on their packets, sacks and publicity material will have to obtain written permission.

Payment details

Exporters or roasters seeking to use the logos will have to apply to the Board in a prescribed format with samples of the beans or instant/roast and ground coffees.

The board has fixed a fee of ₹10,000 for use of each logo and ₹2,500 for every additional logo.

Coffee Board officials said the rationale behind registering the trademarks/logos was to regulate and prevent the misuse. Also, the new initiative is expected to help encourage and promote Indian coffees in overseas markets. However, the trade is divided on the Board’s move to regulate and monetise the logos.“It is good idea.

The logos would enhance the visibility of Indian coffees in the overseas markets,” said Ramesh Rajah, President of the Coffee Exporters Association.

It will also help create awareness among the consumers, Rajah said adding that “the Board should be given a chance.” However, some exporters, who have developed their own brands, do not see major benefits from these trademarks or logos.

Coffee exports

“The logos will help the newcomers the most,” said Ashok Kurian of Balanoor Plantations, who exports under the Balanoor brand.

Coffee exports during January 1-27 were down 32 per cent, provisionally, at 14,672 tonnes against 21,573 tonnes in the corresponding period a year ago.

In 2014, coffee exports stood at 3.01 lakh tonnes valued at ₹4,984 crore or $818 million.

Crop size estimates

The Board, in its latest post monsoon estimates, has pegged the 2014-15 crop size at 3.31 lakh tonnes, a four per cent decline over its post blossom estimate of 3.44 lakh tonnes (lt), primarily due to lower arabica crop that faced a severe pest attack, erratic rainfall and a cyclone.

However, the latest estimates for 2014-15 are 8.7 per cent higher than last year’s final estimate of 3.04 lt. Arabica output for the current season is pegged at 99,600 tonnes, while production of Robusta is expected to 2.31 lt for the 2014-15 season, a decline of 5.6 per cent and 3.28 per cent respectively over the post blossom estimate.

Published on January 30, 2015

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