October 14, 2011Colehour Bondera, a Honaunau coffee farmer and President of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association, has been appointed the oriGIn Vice President for North America.
oriGIn (Organization for an International Geographical Indications Network) recently appointed a president and nine vice presidents, each representing a different country or region. The Geneva-based non-governmental organization represents 200 organizations and over two-million GI producers, from some 40 countries.
Geographical Indications (GI) identify a product as originating in a specific region or locality where the quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. Agricultural products such as Vidalia onions, Idaho potatoes,Napa wine, and of course Kona coffee, are all Geographical Indications. In his new position with oriGIn, Bondera will be helping GIs in the US and elsewhere to protect the reputation and good name of their unique products.
“I was proud to receive the International Parmigiano-Reggiano Awardlast year on behalf of 100% Kona Coffee for our work to get it recognized as an origin crop.” said Bondera. “Now I will have the chance to work with other products in a shared battle to eliminate imposters usurping the good name of origin products. Defending origin products guarantees that the global consumer will recognize the real value of a product, and creates new economic protection for its farmers."
GIs constantly face the challenge of third parties taking economic advantage of their hard-earned reputation by using the name of a GI product on inferior products not from that geographic origin. A prime example is coffee sold in stores bearing labels with the name Kona Coffee and no indication of what percentage in the bag, if any, is actually coffee from Kona.
Protecting and enhancing GIs is the goal of oriGIn and it uses its influence in powerful organizations, the WorldTrade Organization (WTO), the European Union (EU), and the World IntellectualProperty Organization (WIPO), to accomplish these efforts.
The Kona Coffee Farmers Association is a proud member of oriGIn.