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The Effects of the Coffee Trademarking Initiative and Starbucks Publicity on Export Prices of Ethiopian Coffee

  • Aslihan Arslan
  • Christopher P. Reicher

The Ethiopian government initiated the Ethiopian Coffee Trademarking and Licensing Initiative in 2004 for three coffee origins: Sidama, Yirgacheffe and Harar. Following a court case between Starbucks and the Ethiopian government regarding the trademarking of Sidamo, Ethiopian government engaged in a public relations campaign to raise awareness for the Initiative, which was widely publicised in the international media especially after Oxfam organised a public campaign. This paper evaluates the effect of these interventions on the export prices of trademarked Ethiopian coffees. We find that the prices of the trademarked coffees increased by about 10 per cent relative to the non-trademarked coffees following these interventions. The magnitude of this change is comparable with the farm gate prices reported in the literature; however, we cannot establish direct causation or observe the passthrough into farm gate prices. Copyright 2011 , Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 20 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Pages: 704-736

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:20:y:2011:i:5:p:704-736
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  1. Christopher M. Bacon & V. Ernesto Méndez & Stephen R. Gliessman & David Goodman & Jonathan A. Fox (ed.), 2008. "Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Fair Trade, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystems in Mexico and Central America," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026252480, June.
  2. Teuber, Ramona, 2007. "Geographical Indications of Origin as a Tool of Product Differentiation: The Case of Coffee," 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy 7866, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Worako, Tadesse Kumma & van Schalkwyk, Herman D. & Alemu, Zerihun Gudeta & Ayele, Gezahegn, 2008. "Producer price and price transmission in a deregulated Ethiopian coffee market," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 47(4), December.
  4. Kevin P. Gallagher, 2008. "Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Fair Trade, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystems in Mexico and Central America," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 8(3), pages 159-161, 08.
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