I want to thank you for reaching out to Starbucks regarding trademarks and Ethiopia.
Starbucks Coffee Company has signed a distribution, marketing and licensing agreement with Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Further, Starbucks has agreed to assist in expanding consumer awareness of Ethiopia's famed coffee brands -- Sidamo, Harar/Harrar and Yirgacheffe.
We are also happy to announce that the company will open a Starbucks Farmer Support Center in the Ethiopian capital in 2008. The facility, the first in Africa, will enable Starbucks to work collaboratively with Ethiopian farmers to raise both the quality and production of the country's high quality specialty coffees.
These agreements 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 realize 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."
Both the Government of the Ethiopia and Starbucks will continue to strengthen our partnership and engage in consultations on strategies to improve the lives of Ethiopian coffee farmers and their families.
Thanks again for reaching out to us. We look forward to serving you in the future.
Starbucks Coffee Company