Organization for an International Geographical Indications Network Note on Geographical Indications and Development
GI As A Tool For Development
Geographical Indications bring many benefits not only to producers, but also to consumers and local communities. They create added value and improve market access while providing for the protection of local know-how and natural resources. As such, GIs can be a key development tool.
GIs: A Tool To Promote Rural Development
Geographical indications are an excellent means to promote rural development. Studies have shown that when the name of a product obtains a protection as a geographical indication, there is a positive socio-economic impact on local communities. The geographical indications:
Increase production, create local jobs and prevent rural exodus
Help producers to obtain a premium price for their products in exchange for guarantees offered to consumers on production methods and quality
Allow for a better redistribution of the added value in the production chain
Bring value to the land of origin
Have other indirect positive effects, such as on tourism
GIs: A Market Access Tool
Geographical Indications encourage variety and diversity of production. They allow producers to market differentiated products with specific characteristics that are clearly identifiable. As such, GIs are an excellent market access tool.
In the context of globalised markets, consumers are increasingly looking for unique quality products with a specific origin.
GIs: A Tool To Preserve Local Know-How And Natural Resources
GI protection has wider positive benefits on local communities. In particular, Geographical indications encourage the preservation of biodiversity, local know-how and natural resources. GIs:
Prevent the standardization of food. Geographical indication protection ensures that producers can offer consumers unique and different products. In doing so, it contributes to the preservation of biodiversity. In parallel, consumers can enjoy more choice as well as different tastes. In the tea sector for instance, Kenyan teas would certainly benefit from a strong legal protection as a GI which would help them defending their unique qualities towards traders and consumers.
As an important part of our culture, they contribute to the social cohesion as they can help local producers to work together and to solve common problems.
Play a positive role on local and national identity by making producers and consumers proud of their unique traditional products.
In conclusion, it is clear that geographical indications contribute positively to the socio-economic dynamics of local communities around the world. They are a very interesting and useful development tool.
(From, OriGIn, http://origin.technomind.be/29.0.html; OriGIn, the Organization for an International Geographical Indications Network, was launched in Geneva on June 11, 2003 by producers of Geographical Indications (GIs) from Africa, Asia, Latin and North America, Eastern and Western Europe