PH should push 'unique' products for EU exports
MANILA, Philippines – Food exports of the Philippines to the European Union (EU) can reach EU€1.2 billion from EU€800 million euros in 2014, if the country adopts the geographical indication (GI) model of selling specialized products unique to its areas.
Increased income and profits obtainable from well-known GIs can help promote the development of rural communities and encourage genuine, quality agriculture and crafts, EU delegation to the Philippines Ambassador Guy Ledoux said.
"Not only will you have more access, thanks to the abolition of tariffs, with GIs you could actually double the value of these products," Ledoux told delegates at a forum on accessing EU market held Wednesday, March 11
GI for sales boost, product protection
GI is a type of intellectual property right that may apply to any type of goods. It is a distinctive sign used to identify a good as originating in the territory of a particular country, local, or region, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of the goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
"GIs are legally tied to a particular geographical location and are open to all who satisfy the conditions for production there,” Ledoux said.
But Ledoux warned that geographical names with commercial value are exposed to misuse and counterfeiting which could hurt both producers and consumers.
As such, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is now crafting the implementing rules and regulations on GI, said IPO Deputy-Director Allan Gepty.
IPOPHL said the Philippines’ Bicol pili nut; Cebu dried mango; Davao pomelo; Guimaras mangoes, Lake Sebu T'nalak weaving, Kalinga coffee, and heirloom rice have been identified these products for GI registration.
Also, prices of GI-registered products are often twice as high as non-GI products, but also support environmental and cultural diversification and tourism.
For instance, Turkish carpets, Indian saris, Thailand’s Jasmine rice - these, along with Cognac, Parma ham or Roquefort cheese are or could be recognized as GIs, Ledoux illustrated.
In EU, GIs benefit farmers from protection of products such as Bordeaux wine, Feta Cheese, and Parma Ham. Such protection boosts the commercial value and thus livelihood of farmers. Ledoux added.
Their estimated sales value: EU€54.3 billion.
"Can you imagine what would that mean for the Philippines?" Ledoux asked. – Rappler.com
EU€1 = P46.87
EU€1 = US$1.06
Philippine mangoes image from Shutterstock