The Geographical Indications Registry has granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Coorg Arabica Coffee, Wayanad Robusta Coffee, Chikmagalur Arabica Coffee, Araku Valley Arabica Coffee and Bababudangiris Arabica Coffee.
A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation by virtue of their geographical association. The tag conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the geographical origin of the product. The owner of the GI tag has exclusive rights over the product.
The Geographical Indication application was filed by IPR attorney and GI advocate Sanjai Gandhi for the Coffee Board, which comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, government of India, in January last year. The GI was granted on March 1.
According to the GI application, Coorg Arabica Coffee is grown specifically in Kodagu district in Karnataka.
“Coffee cultivation is an integral part of the lives of the people of Kodagu district and forms the backbone of the economy of the district till today……the district has a unique biotic and abiotic conditions which provides uniqueness to the Coffee grown in it. The terrain provided for coffee by the broader landscape provides it a unique aroma and flavour notes to the coffee when roasted,” it said.
As per the GI application for Wayanad Robusta Coffee, the flora of Wayanad is characteristic of the Western Ghats and the plantation crops grown in the cool climate.
“Coffee based farming system is a notable feature of Wayanad. Coffee is grown both as pure crop and as mixed crop along with pepper. Wayanad produces almost around 90% of the state’s Coffee produce which literally concludes that the coffee economy of Kerala is highly correlated with the coffee economy existing in Wayanad. Robusta coffee produce is more than 95% of the total coffee cultivation done in Wayanad,” it added.
Chikmagalur Arabica Coffee and Bababudangiris Arabica Coffee are both grown in Chikmagalur district, Karnataka which is also known as the birthplace of coffee in the country, as per the application petitions.
“Chikmagalur district has a geographical area of 722075 hectares. An area of 43022 hectares is covered by forest and the total planted area of Arabica coffee in Chikmagalur region of Karnataka in the year 2016‐17 is17,699 hectares out of which the bearing area of Coffee was around 14890 hectares. Production of only Arabica Coffee in the year 2016‐17 was around 10426 MT,” said a description about Chikmagalur Arabica Coffee.
“Bababudangiris Arabica Coffee” is grown specifically in the birthplace of coffee in India and region is situated in the central portion of Chikmagalur district, as per GI application.
“Higher elevation area is predominantly Arabica growing track and known for its unique flavour and aroma. Selectively hand‐picked and processes by natural fermentation, the cup exhibits full body, acidity, mild flavour and striking aroma with a note of chocolate,” it added.
Araku Valley Arabica Coffee, grown around Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh and Koraput district in Odisha, is light to medium in strength, has a pleasant acidity with a citrus note of grape fruit and a mild jaggery-like sweetness.
“A cafe‐store called “Araku” was opened in Paris and Araku Coffee has found a place on the shelves of Paris’s iconic, upmarket grocery store La Grande Épicerie, it said.
The initiative is being led by the Naandi Foundation who began working with the tribal farmers of Araku Valley in Andhra’s Visakhapatnam district in 2000. The Foundation has established Araku Originals, a social enterprise, to market the coffee around the world, drawing buyers from Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and France, among others, the application noted.