Nepal has registered the Nepal Coffee collective trademark for Nepali coffee in the European Union (EU). The registration of the brand is expected to help boost exports and value as European importers have been showing interest in buying Nepali coffee, traders said. Furthermore, the move is expected to help improve the quality of the products traded in the EU.

Shyam Prasad Bhandari, president of the Nepal Coffee Entrepreneurs’ Association, said that the collective trademark for Nepali coffee was registered in the EU two months ago, and that this had paved the way for selling Nepali coffee under the same logo in the 27 countries in the EU.

Meanwhile, Nepal has been working to register the Nepal Coffee trademark in the US, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, Japan and Canada. “The registration is likely to be confirmed in Norway, South Korea and Japan soon,” Bhandari said.

The association has been endeavouring to register the collective trademark in major export destinations with the support of the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC). TEPC Executive Director Ishwari Prasad Ghimire said the government had allocated Rs 3 million for the purpose.
“Nepali organic coffee is of high quality and it can compete in the overseas market. It is in high demand in the international market, and it also possesses a robust flavour,” he said. “Our product can compete with coffee from Brazil and Mexico.”

Nepali coffee, popularly called Himalayan Beans, has been gaining popularity in the global market. Nepal exports about 65 percent of the total coffee produced. The country started exporting coffee commercially in 2000 with a shipment of 9 tonnes. In 2008-09, it exported 88 tonnes of coffee worth Rs 790 million. Japan, the US, Dubai, South Korea and the EU are the main importers of Nepali coffee.

The National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) provides the collective trademark to the exporters with the recommendation of the Nepal Coffee Entrepreneurs’ Association.
“Exporters have to fulfil the code of conduct and abide by the board’s directives in order to obtain the trademark,” said Bhandari. According to him, three companies, Highland Coffee Promotion Company, Everest Coffee Mill and Nepal Organic Coffee have acquired the collective trademark so far.

Meanwhile, the government has also given priority to coffee in its Nepal Trade Integration Strategy due to growing export prospects. It announced that it would promote the registration of the collective trademark in the main export destinations during the budget presentation for 2014-15.
Along with swelling demand, the area under coffee cultivation has been increasing annually. Bhandari said that coffee farms had increased significantly as many big financiers had made investments in coffee production.
According to the board, more than 30,543 farmers in 40 districts are engaged in coffee production on 1,911 hectares of land.

In the last fiscal year 2013-14, Nepal produced 524 tonnes of coffee, up from 457 tonnes in the previous fiscal. Between the years 2000 and 2010, coffee output increased from 72 tonnes to 384 tonnes.
Gulmi, Palpa, Arghakhanchi, Lalitpur, Tanahu, Kavre, Sindhupalchok, Lamjung, Kaski, Gorkha, Syangja, Parbat and Baglung are the major coffee producing districts in the country. The US and Brazil are the largest importer and exporter of coffee respectively in the world.

Source: The Kathmandu Post