Logo ID crisis curbs coffee’s climb abroad

Kathmandu, November 14:

Nepal produces top grade filter coffee, with its own brand ‘Himalayan Specialty Coffee’, but experts feel that it would jump the world market think if it had a special logo of its own. With a catchy logo, it stands an ideal chance of establishing itself as the best coffee in the world.

Speaking at a programme organized by Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB), board executibe director Bijay Kumar Mishra said, “We are in the process of registering our own logo for Himalayan Specialty Coffee for taking it to the international market, and we are hopeful that when the logo is launched in the international market it will work wonders in the promotion of Nepali filter coffee.”

Mishra added, “The specialty of our coffee is it is produced at an altitude of 800 metres above sea level. It is of the species Arabica, which is the best of its type.” Most people know very little about real coffee, he said and added that the coffee that people get in the domestic market is instant coffee which only has 30 per cent coffee in it. In contrast, Himalayan Specialty Coffee is filter coffee and it is original coffee which has to be filtered while preparing, just like tea. Mishra said, “People are here are not aware of the real taste of coffee. It is only because we have a small production volume. However, now all the coffee producers are united and working jointly. We have strategic short term and long term plans on the anvil, one of which is awareness program about real coffee.”

According to data provided by NTCDB, more than 18,000 farmers are engaged in coffee farming in 40 districts on some 1,450 hectares of land. The main coffee growing districts in Nepal are Lalitpur, Gulmi, Palpa, Kaski, Kavrepalanchowk, Sindhupalchowk and Arghakhanchi while farmers in Baglung, Parbat, Gorkha, Lamjung, Tanahun, Rasuwa, Dhading, Nuwakot, Okhaldunga, Ramechhap and Ilam districts also have begun to grow coffee.

In 2003-04, the total production of Dry Cherry was 217.5 Metric Tons (MT) while in 2004-05 the production of Parchment was 114 MT and in 2005-06 it was 156 MT. In 2006-07 the production of Parchment increased to 270.7 MT and in 2007-08 it was 265 MT, according to the NTCDB data.

The demand for coffee is increasing in both the domestic and international market. Around 60 per cent of the produced coffee is exported to foreign countries such as Japan, America, Korea and some European countries that are major importers of Nepali coffee.

The data shows that the total amount of coffee exported in 2005-06 was 92 MT, in 2006-07 it was 112 MT while in 2007-08 it was 127 MT.

NTCDB said it has designed a National Coffee Policy 2060 for the promotion and development of coffee and is in the process of getting permission for its implementation.

Meanwhile, NTCDB board will also organize a coffee exhibition on November 16 on the occasion of National Coffee Day.