New! Geography of food

In this section, you may find new materials that have been published on the “Geography of food” topic, since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in this briefing.

– The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement Represents an Historic Opportunity for GIs

origin-gi.com, 07-07-2015

May 2015 marked the historic adoption of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographic Indications (GIs) by the Diplomatic Conference that convened at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).The Geneva Act formally includes Geographical Indications (GIs) under the scope of application of the Lisbon Agreement, which now provides a solid level of protection for all products’ names with unique characteristics linked to their geographical environment. Providing such level of protection for all GIs reflects an ongoing trend in national legislations around the world. Up until this landmark achievement, the Lisbon Agreement only permitted the registration of Appellations of Origin, scheme for which some countries lack an adequate infrastructure. Producers’ groups of future contracting parties will benefit from an efficient system to recognize the GIs they represent in foreign markets. On the other hand, countries maintain the possibility to refuse the protection of foreign GIs in their jurisdictions if, for instance, the corresponding name was previously registered there as a trademark.

– GIs becoming growing cheese trade barrier
bilaterals.org, 30 July 2014
The U.S. dairy industry told the Senate Finance Committee’s trade subcommittee the 2010 U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement has further strengthened U.S. dairy exports to the Korean market, even though it is not yet fully implemented. At the same time, Shawna Morris, vice president for trade for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), said a new and growing type of trade barrier involving common food names has emerged that is restricting access to the Korean market for key U.S. cheeses.

– Rooibos protected in EU trade pact
iol.co.za, 21 July 2014
Rooibos tea has secured geographic indicator status in the long-awaited economic partnership agreement between southern African nations and the European Union, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Monday. “It will be the rooibos tea manufacturers of South Africa which will have ownership of that particular name and that term will be applicable only to products that come from and are approved by us,” he said. The minister said the designation was significant, given the popularity Rooibos had acquired in Europe in recent years. Last year, the South African Rooibos Council scrambled to stop an attempt by a French company – the Compagnie de Trucy – to trademark the name, fearing that it could secure exclusive use. The same trademark protection given to rooibos will apply to honeybush, another tea grown exclusively in the Cape region, and Karoo lamb – meaning that only products produced in those areas can be marketed under those trade names.

EU’s trade strategy on food favours the few at the expense of the many
euractiv.com, 17 July 2014
Europeans take enormous pride in their food – specifically, in the “heritage” foods of their regions. And why shouldn’t they? The cheeses, wines, meats – even specialty fruits and vegetables – are what define the very character of some of Europe’s most diverse regions. So what harm can come to Europeans in protecting the names of these specialty foods? It would seem that the system of geographical indications (GIs) – the program designed to do just that, would by its very nature be harmless and beneficial. But when it comes to the EU’s current approach to trade negotiations, this is true only for a handful of member states, at the expense of the rest.

– Croatia accession: 12 new traditional agricultural prodcuts
Farmlandgrab.org, 27 June 2013
Croatia is entering the EU market with a new product, “pekmez”, which is similar to jam. Only 12 Croatian products have so far been awarded a protected designation of origin, including Krk prosciutto, “Drnis” prosciutto and “Varazdin” cabbage.

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