The Brussels Briefing ‘Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system’ was held on 15 May, 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 Carribean experience in protecting agrifood products, or the leverage of GI potentials in the use of underutilized species.

Extra material:


The meeting was webstreamed, and the video registration can be viewed online at:
Part 1:
Part 2:


Below, you can consult the presentations made by the speakers, by clicking on the word “presentation” corresponding to each individual panelist:

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.
Chair: Olusola Ojo, Expert Sustainable Economic Development and Trade, ACP Secretariat

1. Johann Kirsten, Head, Dept of Agricultural Economics, University of Pretoria: “Overview of origin-linked agricultural products and initiatives of interest to ACP countries” [Presentation]

2. Marie-Paule Rizo, Head, Industrial Design and Geographical Indications Law Section, WIPO : “Existing global and regional legal frameworks for origin-branding, and protecting geographical indications and traditional products” [Presentation]

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

4. Astrid Gerz, GI Expert, REDD: Evaluation and feedback mechanisms on impact of geographical indications [Presentation]

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.
Chair: Francis Fay, Deputy Head of Unit, DG Agriculture & Rural Development, European Commission

1. Getachew Mengistie Alemu, Intellectual Property  Consultant & Attorney, Ethiopia:  “Successes in GIs and other forms of protection in Africa and lessons learned” [Presentation]

2. John Malcolm Spence, Senior Coordinator, Intellectual Property Issues, CARICOM Secretariat: “The Caribbean experience in protecting agricultural and agrifood products” [Presentation]

3. Stefano Padulosi, Senior Scientist, Marketing Diversity, Bioversity International: “Promoting agrobiodiversity: leveraging GI potentials in the use of underutilized species” [Presentation]

4. Marie Antoinette Haba, Head of cooperation and development, Ministry of Agriculture and focal point on GIs of OAPI: “Lessons learned from the process  of registering a GI in coffee from Mont Ziama, Guinée” [Presentation]

5. Anselme Bakudila Mbuta, Slow Food Studies Centre, Italy: “Linking food traditions and education: the experience of Slow Food and Terra Madre Network” [Presentation]

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

This event marked the 31st edition of the Brussels Development Briefings – a regular event organized in Brussels by CTA – in collaboration with the European Commission, the ACP Group, and other partners – on key issues and challenges for rural development in the context of EU/ACP cooperation.

One thought on “Last Brussels Briefing: Linking food, geography and people

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