Joint Statement from the Ethiopia Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) and Starbucks Coffee Company Regarding Agreement in Principle
Representatives of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and senior leaders from Starbucks Coffee Company today announced that they have completed two days of constructive discussions and the parties have agreed in principle to sign a licensing, distribution and marketing agreement that recognizes the importance and integrity of Ethiopia's specialty coffee names.
This agreement will help to expand their ongoing collaboration to market and sell Ethiopia's exceptionally high quality coffees.
"Ethiopia is firmly committed to work in partnership with all international specialty coffee companies and distributors of its fine coffees, including Harar, Sidamo and Yirgacheffe. We realise our approach to trademarking and licensing these coffee brands that originate in and represent the best of Ethiopia's coffee heritage is a new approach that not only meets the needs of small Ethiopian fine coffee farmers and traders but also the coffee roasting and distributing companies and their customers," commented Getachew Mengistie, EIPO Director General.
"Ethiopia is recognized as the historic birthplace of coffee and the source of some of the finest coffee in the world," said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman. "We're extremely excited to continue to deepen our relationship with the Government of Ethiopia."
The Government of Ethiopia and Starbucks Coffee look forward to formalizing the details of the agreement and signing it in May 2007.