The Concoction

An Ethiopian woman's musings on Africa, the world and everything in between

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        Friday, January 05, 2007
        Three cents is "...more than an insult"
        If an adoption blog could post on the row between Starbucks and Ethiopia, I felt that I could bring back this old-ish issue. I'm catching up with blogging at the same time. Old or not, the issue remains that Ethiopian coffee farmers get 3 cents per Starbucks cup(according to OXFAM), and they are losing $88 million a year by not owning the IP right on the coffee names "Harar", "Sidamo" and "Yirgachefe".

        "Starbucks is all about community and inspiration, and everything in that movie [Akeelah and the Bees] seemed aligned with that — it has that human connection," Denson said. "It doesn't have to be a family film, but it does have to be socially relevant."

        When Starbucks executives describe the goal of the company's cultural extensions, they invariably lean on the word discovery. "Customers say one of the reasons they come is because they can discover new things — a new coffee from Rwanda, a new food item. So extending that sense of discovery into entertainment is very natural for us. That's all part of the Starbucks experience," said Anne Saunders, senior vice president of global brand strategy and communications.

        It is a shame and I'm sure a missed business opportunity for Starbucks that it is not as zealously connected to real people (like Ethiopian coffee farmers) as they are to movies and books.

        Related links

        What's in a name?
        Intellectual Properties of poor nations
        Dissecting the Starbucks vs Ethiopian government IP row
        OXFAM's campaign
        More Ethiopian coffee, biodiversity, terrorism name it, it's here
        posted by Fikirte @ 4:06 AM   Digg!
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