31. Geography of food

The Brussels Briefing ‘Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system’ was held on 15 May 2013, at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels.


More than 120 participants discussed traditional agricultural products (geographical indications or “GIs”) and other origin marketing tools in the context of ACP countries.
The event had three panels, which featured several prominent industry experts and thought leaders including representatives of the academia, of European institutions (DG Agriculture and Rural Development – European Commission, but also of African and international organizations as the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), l’Organisation africaine de la propriété intellectuelle (OAPI), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and Bioversity International, the CARICOM Secretariat, and the ACP Secretariat.

The event touched upon important topics such as: existing global and regional frameworks for protecting geographical indications and traditional products, the Caribbean experience in protecting agrifood products, or the leverage of GI potentials in the use of underutilized species.

New! On the subject of ‘Food Origin and Geographic Indicators’



Biodata of the speakers

Photos from the Briefing (additional sets and 2)


Recording of the Briefing:
Part 1
Part 2

Introductory remarks
Achille Bassilekin, Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade, ACP Secretariat [Video]; Loretta Dormal-Marino, Deputy Director-General for International Affairs, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission [Video]; Isolina Boto, Manager of CTA Brussels Office [Video]

Panel 1: Protecting value by marketing tradition and origin
This session discussed the various frameworks and tools to secure value for producers by protecting and preserving the attributes of origin and tradition of agricultural and food products.


– Overview of origin-linked agricultural products and initiatives of interest to ACP countries
 Johann Kirsten, Head, Dept of Agricultural Economics, University of Pretoria [Presentation|Video]

– Existing global and regional legal frameworks for origin-branding, and protecting geographical indications and traditional products
Marie-Paule Rizo, Head, Industrial Design and Geographical Indications Law Section, WIPO [Presentation|Video|Video Interview]

– GIs and other instruments for protecting producers’ assets in the origin and tradition of their products: factors of success in ACP countries
Bernard O’Connor, O’Connor European Lawyers [Video|Presentation]

– Evaluation and feedback mechanisms on impact of geographical indications
 Astrid Gerz, GI Expert, REDD [Video|Presentation]

Panel 1 Debate

Panel 2: Proven successes on origin-linked agrifood products
This panel reviewed the potential of origin-linked tools for ACP producers based on successes, including looking at sustainability factors.


– Successes in GIs and other forms of protection in Africa and lessons learned
Getachew Mengistie Alemu, Intellectual Property Consultant & Attorney, Ethiopia [Video|Presentation]

– The Caribbean experience in protecting agricultural and agrifood products
John Malcolm Spence, Senior Coordinator, Intellectual Property Issues, CARICOM Secretariat [Video|Presentation]

– Promoting agrobiodiversity: leveraging GI potentials in the use of underutilized species
Stefano Padulosi, Senior Scientist, Marketing Diversity, Bioversity International [Video|Presentation|Video interview]

– Lessons learned from the process of registering a GI in coffee from Mont Ziama, Guinea
Marie Antoinette Haba, Head of cooperation and development, Ministry of Agriculture and focal point on GIs of OAPI [Video|Presentation]

– Linking food traditions and education: the experience of Slow Food and Terra Madre Network
Anselme Bakudila Mbuta, Slow Food Studies Centre, Italy [Video|Presentation]

Panel 2 Debate

Panel 3: The way forward
This short session complemented the discussions of the morning and will identify the promising avenues for futures actions, especially in support of ACP countries.

Chair: Fernando Dos Santos, Director General of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)

– Fabio Russo, Senior Industrial Development Officer UNIDO
– Elias McDave, Legal Counsel ARIPO
– Marie Schmidt, Expert GIs, OriGIn.

Concluding remarks
– Bernard Rey, Deputy Head of Unit, DG for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, Food security, rural development, nutrition
– Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office

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