Geographical Indications as adding value to local products

By Thaisy SluszzEmbrapa Swine and Poultry

The fast economic, urban growth and the demand for Agrifood products in developing countries have widened the prospects for differentiated products markets with added value. A differentiated product has unique quality and characteristics due to regional natural and human factors. It’s necessary to appreciate these products with a certificate, which says its origin and ensures hard control. Legally, these products are designated by a Geographical Indication (GI).
The concept of geographical indication’ origin came when producers, traders and consumers realized that some products in certain regions had higher quality due to its geographical origin. The GI is a way to add value and credibility to a products or services, giving it a market differentiation.

The GI is linked to intellectual property law and guaranteed by World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO and the World Trade Organization – WTO, who are responsible for implementation treaties and international conventions about IG.
In Brazil, the Federal Decree defines GI as “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory, where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of the product that is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.”

There are two types of GI in Brazilian’s law: Indication of Origin (for his notoriety) and Origin Designation (by differences in climate, soil, human, etc.). The National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) is the federal agency that is responsible for the GI registration.
Around the world, the organizations are realizing the need to add value to their products and differentiate them against the competitive market, an example being the IG requests at INPI.
From 1998 until January 2012, INPI has received a total of 63 requests, 43 from Brazilian requests. There are currently 14 Geographical Indications registered:

  • Indications of Origin (12): Vale dos Vinhedos (Rio Grande do Sul) for wines; Cerrado Mineiro (Minas Gerais) for coffee; Pampa Gaúcho da Campanha Meridional (Rio Grande do Sul) for beef; Vale dos Sinos (Rio Grande do Sul ) for finished leather; Paraty (Rio de Janeiro) for cachaça; Vale do Submédio São Francisco (Bahia / Pernambuco) for mango and grapes; Pinto Bandeira (Rio Grande do Sul) for sparkling wine and wine; Jalapão (Tocantins) to golden grass; Goiabeiras (Espírito Santo) to clay pots; Serra da Mantiqueira de Minas Gerais (Minas Gerais) for coffee; Pelotas (Rio Grande do Sul) for sweets; and Serro (Minas Gerais) for cheese.
  • Origin Designation (2): Litoral Norte Gaúcho (Rio Grande do Sul) for rice and the Costa Negra (Ceará) for shrimp.
  • International registers (4): Região dos Vinhos Verdes (Portugal) for wine; Cognac (France) to distilled spirits of wine, San Daniele for fresh pig thighs and raw ham (Italy), and for Franciacorta for wines, sparkling wines and alcoholic beverages (Italy).
  • Other requests: Mossoró (Ceará) for melon; Napa Valley (United States) for wines; Pedro II (Piauí) for precious opal and opal jewelry craft; Franca (São Paulo) for shoes; São João Del-Rei (Minas Gerais) for parts of tin; Linhares (Espírito Santo) for cocoa beans; Canasta (Minas Gerais) for cheese; Itapemirim (Espírito Santo) to marble; Cerrado Mineiro (Minas Gerais) for green coffee; Manguezais de Alagoas (Alagoas) for red propolis; Porto Digital (Pernambuco) for information technology services; São Tiago (Minas Gerais) for biscuits; Divina Pastora (Sergipe) to income of needle lace.

Brazil is the only country that recognizes GI from other non-agri-food industries and services. Other regions have been oriented, in order to obtain recognition to different products. This is the Oeste de Santa Catarina’ case, which has an important role in the historical trajectory of Brazilian swine production development.

Adding value to products is one of the solutions to include territories and organizations with small-scale production in a competitive market. Such protections have been currently used as a marketing tool, offering more safety to consumer and quality assurance and origin of the product.

Edited by Gilberto Silber Schmidt

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