The Ethiopian Trademarking and Licensing Initiative is an Aid for Trade initiative that has strong trade development and poverty reduction foundations: it aims to increase Ethiopia’s coffee export income while ensuring a higher and more predictable income for Ethiopian coffee farmers and their households, by enabling them to capture a larger share of the final retail value of their coffee and more stable and predictable prices for their coffee. Given two parallel trends – high levels of poverty among producers of high quality Ethiopian coffee alongside increasing demand and retail
prices for specialty coffee – this initiative is well positioned to have strong trade and poverty reduction impacts. It demonstrates how Aid for Trade has the potential to support positive trade and development outcomes simultaneously.
The initiative seeks to achieve its objectives by supporting the registration of trademarks for
Ethiopia’s three most famous high quality coffee varieties. This lays the foundation for the negotiation of licensing agreements with exporters and retailers, which in turn has provided coffee producers with greater ability to negotiate farm-gate and wholesale prices. Key features of the initiative are value chain analysis, trademarking and branding; licensing and brand management; and creating a transparent market.