Bengaluru: Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today stressed on the need for branding Indian Coffee and said the Coffee Board now has to be on its toes in this regard.
She said branding is now one way of ensuring that the market is going to be sustained. The Minister was speaking after distributing soil health card and launching of a web portal,an initiative of the Coffee Board, towards soil fertility appraisal and soil health monitoring in traditional Coffee growing regions, here.
"Today is an age of branding,we need to brand everything, we need to sell everything, we need to have high profile marketing for everything to even reach the lower end of the pyramid," Sitharaman said.
She said "promotion of Coffee, branding of different coffee should go with a lot more hype. There is a lot of creativity we need to (put) in taking coffee further." Noting that countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar have done and are doing a lot of things in packaging, value addition, presenting and marketing of the coffee, she said "the Coffee Board obviously is now going to have to be on its toes.
Sitharaman called on the Board for a "breaking the usual trodden path" kind of an approach in branding and marketing of Indian Coffee. Pointing out at Araku, a new coffee growing area in northern Andhra Pradesh, a hilly tribal area which produces a "good quality" Arabica coffee, she said they have a posh outlet in Paris for Araku coffee.
"I did ask the Coffee board where are we? If Araku on its own can go to Paris, Coffee Board should have pushed itself and said I will market Coorg Coffee. We should brand it."
Sitharaman said newer coffee growing areas have a great deal of enthusiasm and the kind of energy that they have is fantastic, adding that Uttarakhand is growing good coffee,? while Himachal Pradesh is attempting to get into coffee with Arabica variety.
Expressing confidence that there would be expansion in growing area under coffee in India and there is immense opportunity, she also conceded that "we have not been able to get solution to white stem borer problem that Coffee growers are facing."
"I am pursuing with the Agriculture Research Institutes across the country on this," she added. Sitharaman said the reach of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana will be applicable to even small coffee growers and pointed out that according to information provided to her, about 98 per cent are small growers.
The Minister also informed that on Sunday the Indian Postal Department is releasing a stamp with Coffee flavour. Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha will be releasing the stamp which will be a collector's version, and it will be priced at Rs 100....