Claudia Sardi, The Jakarta Post, Sanur | Sat, 12/13/2008 11:15 AM
The directorate general for intellectual property rights at the Justice and Human Rights Ministry has issued the first official Geographical Indication (GI) certificate for Arabica coffee from Kintamani in Bali.
"This is a big day for all Indonesian coffee producers because it is the first Indonesian product to be recognized by GI," Ika Ahyani Kurniawati, head of the technical evaluation section at the directorate general, said on the sidelines of the National Conference for Geographical Indication in Sanur on Thursday.
GI is an official quality label that guarantees the origin and specification of a product. The label certifies that the product holds certain qualities or a certain reputation because of its geographical origin.
The certification was made in response to a request by an association of local farmers and private processors for the protection and recognition of the Kintamani coffee specifications.
Kintamani coffee is produced in the northern part of Bali. Its production has to follow a "Book of Requirements" and will be controlled on a regular basis.
"The Book of Requirements makes it possible for us to guarantee the highest possible quality of the coffee and makes it easier for the producers to maintain and develop their product," the director general for intellectual property rights, Andy Noorsaman Sommeng, said.
Sommeng further said that all related parties involved in coffee production would be able to benefit from the certification, which will also enable them to distinguish easily between fake products and the original quality ones.
"I hope to expand our markets for Kintamani coffee so that national and also international sales increase. We aim to increase the price per kilo from the current US$28 to $30 in the future," coffee farmer and vice president of Kopi Kintamani Bali, I Wayan Jaman, said during the three-day event in Sanur.
At least 24 groups of each up to 100 farmers are part of the Kintamani production system. They have made the Kintamani coffee the most expensive of its kind in Indonesia.
The GI certification of the Kintamani coffee constitutes a pilot project initiated by the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa research institute, GI and the involved local communities.
"The Kintamani example shows how new technology, wider knowledge and defined processes can lift a region's value," Surip Mawardi, chief of the GI expert team, said.
To enhance the marketing opportunities for Indonesian products on an international level, a ratification of the Lisbon (Appellation of Origin or AO instead of GI) agreement is being considered for the future.
Sommeng sees great potential for many other Indonesian products such as pepper, rice and fruit.
"Local communities have to start to communicate and map the special products and their very own characteristics in their region before they can apply for GI and later AO," he said.