Friday 1 May 2020

Araku Valley Arabica Coffee #OdishaGI #GIsofIndia #KnowYourGI

We start with a quiz question.
Have you heard of Araku Valley?

It is a picturesque valley near Vishakhapatnam (Vizag) of Andhra Pradesh (AP). A simple Google search gives up many results about this place in "AP".

A special variety of coffee is grown in this valley.
Coffee Board of India had applied for the Geographical Indication (GI) tag of "Araku Valley Arabica Coffee." 
However, apart from Andhra Pradesh, parts of Odisha too were included in the same application. 

Araku Valley Arabica Coffee earned the GI Tag in the year 2019.
Most of the media reports focused on Andhra Pradesh.
Very few newspapers reported Odisha's name.
When info is not shared, how will be people be aware?
Hardly any person in Odisha was aware that this is a GI of Odisha too.

Araku Valley Arabica Coffee was not mentioned as a "newsmaker" of Odisha in the 2019 year-end articles- though this too had earned the GI Tag last year, just like Kandhamal Haladi and Odisha Rasagola.
However, many papers had listed Odisha Rasagola GI and some had included Kandhamal Haladi GI too.
But, they did not know that Odisha had earned three GI tags in 2019 where Araku Valley Arabica Coffee was also a part of the list.

This author first came to learn about this #GITag while researching about the GIs of Odisha.

Till then, there was a constant endeavour on my part to get Coffee Board to recognize Odisha's Koraput Coffee - the indigenous variety of coffee of Koraput district, and get them to faciliate GI filing for our coffee too just like they have done for many others.

After going through the documentation and checking with GI Registry officials, this writer was sad that Odisha cannot apply for Koraput Coffee as the said geographical area has already been covered in the Araku Valley Arabica Coffee GI application!

Not just many parts of Koraput, the area also includes other districts of Odisha like- Kandhamal, Rayagada, Keonjhar, Gajapati and Kalahandi districts.

It was a huge disappointment that though many parts of Odisha have been included in this GI Application filed by the Coffee Board of India, that is a national-level body, there has hardly been any mention about Odisha by the media in the news-reports.
Small wonder, not many know that Odisha too is a part of this.

Earlier, it was wonderful to have gained access to the gazetteer of Koraput that was a historical evidence and proof of link of the coffee with Odisha from 1930.
However, all the optimism and thrill of having another potential GI in the name of a place of Odisha disappeared as the same info had already been filed under the brand name of "Araku Valley Arabica Coffee." As the relevant parts of Odisha have already been included, there cannot be an exclusive GI filing and recognition now for "Koraput Coffee."

Was the Odisha Govt. aware of this GI?
Was anyone in Odisha aware of this GI?

If yes, why does no one have any issue with the name of the GI? Shouldn't GIs use and reflect the local language and the name of the place of origin or special unique product characteristics?

You may ask- "What's in a name?"
The valley is a famous tourist attraction of Andhra Pradesh. Name counts a lot.
GI products are associated with the origin. From the names of products, the customer becomes aware of the state.
Just because this coffee has the valley's name and the valley is linked with AP only, the popular perception is that this agricultural product belongs to the main top-of-mind-recall state associated with the valley, even though the "same" coffee is produced in other places too!

How will such a GI like "Araku Valley Arabica Coffee" that has the well-known name of a tourist place of a neighbouring state be ever attributed to Odisha?
(Perhaps this explains why most media did not mention Odisha in their reports.)

Isn't it the Coffee Board of India's responsibility to give proper info and credit?
Now that the GI has been filed, requesting proper marketing and promotion with the name "Odisha" too mentioned in bold letters along with AP.

V For- Valley
Araku Valley Arabica Coffee
I am writing A-Z posts about the Geographical Indications (GIs) of Odisha #OdishaGI.
GI is a distinctive certificate used to identify a product as originating from a particular region or locality that has specific qualities, reputation or other unique characteristics. GI products are linked with the culture, traditions, history etc. of a geographical location. 

Only when info is shared, people can learn and be aware.
This is my sincere attempt to share information about the GI Tags of Odisha.
You can check out my other GI posts here.
My previous #AToZChallenge posts here.
Let us all use GI products - the "invaluable treasures of incredible India", and encourage our artisans, weavers, and farmers.
Are you aware of the Geographical Indications of India? 
Did you know about the "Araku Valley Arabica Coffee"?
Please do share in the comments below.


  1. No I haven't heard about this variety. Very informative piece.

  2. I have visited Araku valley Arabica coffee but am happy to know now about the Odisha connect.

  3. The name Araku Valley is misleading. It is only when we come across articles like yours that we come to know it has connections with Odisha.


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