The decision of the Coffee Board to charge a fee for using its logos is nothing but a harebrained idea. Instead the Board should concentrate on other pressing problems being faced by the coffee industry.
Exporters, traders, roasters and curers displaying the ‘Coffees of India’ and the other regional/speciality coffee logos on their packages will now have to seek the Coffee Board’s permission to do so and pay a fee for using such logos.
The Board which is more of a white elephant has outlived its usefulness. By deciding to charge a fee on logos, the Board is only curtailing the promotion of coffee marketing. When the Board is incurring crores of rupees on the travel of its officials abroad for promoting Indian coffee, there is no reason in collecting a few lakhs of rupees by way of a fee for using the logo. This will only add to bureaucratic bottlenecks.
A Coffee Board official clarified: “The logo fee is not meant for revenue generation, but to avoid misuse of the logos.”
The Coffee Board headed by Javed Akhtar, IAS, came under scathing attack from Union Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman sometime ago for its lackadaisical performance.
The priority of the Board should be to tackle the white stem-borer menace that is threatening to drive the Arabica variety to extinction. The research and development wing of the Board had not done anything worthwhile in the past few years.