Mon, 18 Feb 2008
Members of the Gayo ethnic group in the highlands of Aceh say they are annoyed by the insistence of a Dutch company that they cannot use the name of their area and people for their coffee.

According to a report inThe Sydney Morning Herald, thousands of former rebels and sympathizers are being encouraged to harvest small coffee plots supplying local co-operatives.

The growing popularity of Gayo-grown coffee has created a conflict has erupted over the rights to the Gayo name. A Dutch company, Holland Coffee, says it has trademarked Gayo in Europe and America, and is demanding other firms drop any reference to it or face legal action.

In Aceh, many are angry that others could claim ownership of a tribal and regional name, and the move is driving proposals for Indonesian laws to prevent the monopolization of geographic names.

Holland Coffee's owner, George Willekes, is unrepentant. "We have made Gayo Mountain famous worldwide and it stands for exceptional coffee. We have trademarked it and I believe people cannot market the name Gayo anywhere in the world."

"We think Gayo Mountain doesn't stand for an area. It stands for the quality we have established."



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