On Friday, March 29, five varieties of Indian coffee including Coorg Arabica coffee received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Government of India. This move is expected to help the growers get maximum price for their premium produce.
The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has recently awarded this tag to the following:
The ministry said, “The tribals produce the Araku coffee, as they follow an organic approach wherein they focus on management practices involving substantial use of organic manures, green manuring and organic pest management practices.”
Similarly, it said that Bababudangiris Arabica coffee is selectively hand-picked and processed by natural fermentation. It added that In India, coffee is cultivated in about 4.54 lakh hectares by 3.66 lakh coffee farmers of which 98 per cent are small farmers.
Indian coffee is highly valued in the world market and sold as premium coffee in Europe. It is the only country in the world where the entire coffee cultivation is grown under shade, hand-picked and sun-dried. It also said that the produces from our country account for some of the best coffee in the world. Grown by tribal farmers in the Western and Eastern Ghats, which are the two major biodiversity hotspots in the world.
"The recognition and protection that comes with GI certification will allow the coffee producers of India to invest in maintaining the specific qualities of the coffee grown in that particular region. It will also enhance the visibility of Indian coffee in the world and allow growers to get maximum price for their premium coffee," it added.
A Geographical Indication (GI) is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Typically, this tag implies an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.
Experts say that GI tag gives protection to the producer of those genuine products, which command premium pricing in both domestic and international markets.
"Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product," National Intellectual Property Organisation (NIPO) President T C James said.
Darjeeling Tea, Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange and Kashmir Pashmina are among the registered GIs in India.
(With inputs from PTI)