A petition for protecting Teff

I feel some responsibility to put the following post for public awareness and thereby as Eritreans and Ethiopian readers here to voice for protecting our local and tradition products.


Those who might be busy and not able to finish the who readings, please sign your petition here

Therefore, I call all concerned Eritreans to sign for this petition and in the comment section to put Eritrea also has a right to claim a right for this product.

This is the petition form

Before going into the subject, just some questions

Have you ever heard egyptians fishing from the Red Sea Eritrea and sell the fish in their local market as it is coming from nearby Red Sea Egypt?

Have you ever heard fishermen from Yemen trying to reach Eritrean territory and harvet fish illegally?

Have you ever heard camels from Eritrean being sold in the middle east markets?

Have you ever heard a local or traditional product coming from Eritrea or Ethiopia with a protected sign, just like an intellectual property?

I am quite sure everybody is aware on the 09 (PFDJ trading company) activity of the 1990s on COFFEE business. They buy from Ethiopian market and pack it as it is a product of Eritrea and export to the world market. http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/events/2011/gi-africa-2011/sentayhu_en.pdf

I am quite also sure on your awareness regarding what PFDJ agricultural processing industries are trying to do. For example, potato processing industry which is established in Alebu is getting its raw product from local area, process it and then directly export to Italian market in gross quanity. The Italian company then divide into small packaging and sell as if it is of local product originated from Italy or a product processed by Italian company. Eritrea is almost benefitting nothing from this unacceptable procedure.

Have a read please on what it mean to protect local and traditional products. Those from USA, the subject might be strange but it is an on-going trade dispute between US and EU and a major block from reaching the international Trade Agreements.

Just a general introduction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_indications_and_traditional_specialities_in_the_European_Union

This kind of trade cheating is now ending by having a right to origin and tradition.


Today, my objective is to call you to join the petition group and sign against a Dutch company which is trying to use illegally Teff in the world market. Here it follows

A call for petition and for public awareness

At this time, Eritrea might not be able to introduce a protecting strategy to its local and tradition food products. But soon a policy need to be  introduced for protecting Geographical Indication products so that the  owners of the product should be the sole property owners and  beneficiers. In Europe and now at world level, protecting local and  traditional product is of major concern in the world trade agreerments. I am studying my masters degree in this  regard and I hope one day Eritrea to introduce such protocols and reach  the world market through its geographical indicated products. Eritrea  has a very promising potential in different varieties of food products  which can be protected and marketed within thin norm such as fish  product, meat products, crop products and different fruits and  vegetables

Within this  context, Ethiopia has started to protect its product under PGI sich as coffee and now are heading to protect other crop products like teff.  Though Ethiopia is a world known producer and consumer of teff, Eritrea  also produces and consumes teff in different forms.

Before, the  origin of food product was not a big issue though in Europe it has a  long history wihich dates back to 1890s (Paris agreement). Today, almost all local and traditional products originated from Europe are protected under PGI or AOP/PDO. And protecting the product benefits and protects  the owner and thereby plays a great role in impactining positively local economy.

Teff was not from Europe but today they are either  able to produce or import. Once imported or produced they process and  add value and thereby generate huge profits. And during this process,  the original owners benefit almost nothing and are ignored. This was  what was happening in the world market before and it will continue to  happen unless the owners of such local and traditional products claim  for their rights and develop a means to protect under the international  norms.

It is within this context that Ethiopia is suing a case  against Dutch company to protect her right on teff. This case should not be left to Ethiopia alone. Because it is not only Ethiopia that owns  this product, at least Eritrea also shares some cultural similarities on the cultivation, production, processing and consumption of Teff.  Joining the petition therefore helps us to give our voice and to tell  the world that Eritreans will also have a right to protect products that they claim it belongs them.

For more information about PGI and PDO or TSG products, you can have a read on http://en.wikipedia.org/…/Geographical_indications_and_trad…

Or you can also contact me if you need more information as I am particularly studying this subject for my masters degree

Therefore, I call all concerned Eritreans to sign for this petition and in the comment section to put Eritrea also has a right to claim a right for this product.

This is the petition form


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