Starbucks vs. Ethiopia
In a recent article entitled “Starbucks vs. Ethiopia” Stephan Faris explains that for a $26 bag of premium coffee sold in the United States, Starbucks only pays the growers in Ethiopia $1.43. The debate lies in the words Starbucks uses to ensure the coffee’s premium status. The words Starbucks uses are the names of the places where the beans are grown in Ethiopia. This means Starbucks can charge a premium and not pay a premium on a name they don’t own. This does not sound fair and according to the article Ethiopia is taking the issue to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in order to trademark the names of the regions where the beans are grown. Starbucks argues that this is unconventional for a region to use a trademarked and is pushing for Ethiopia to protect its products by using geographic certification instead. I support Ethiopia in its decision to go after the trademark and if it fails, they should push for a geographic certification because in my opinion something should be done.
Posted by Eric at 3/13/2007 06:12:00 PM