GI tags or Geographical indication is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin.GI tags ensure that the product is from definite location.
Writer: Andrea Cheradil
In the present era we tend to associate a particular product with its region of origin, Darjeeling tea, Nagpur orange, Kashmiri Pashmina, Mysore silk, etc are an example of few of such products. These products itself vouches for its quality and genuineness, so to illustrate the same, like when we desire to consume an orange, the first product that comes to our mind is Nagpur orange known for its sweet and juicy pulp.
Similarly, there are several other Products that holds a special stature on being associated with a particular place of origin. Recently, many instances have occurred wherein a certain product not associated with the region of its origin was being marketed under false pretence taking the consumers ignorance for a ride, which tarnished the image of well-established products associated with a particular region.
To safeguard the Authenticity, recognition and quality of a product associated with a particular region, GI Tags or Geographical Indication tags were introduced.
GI tags or Geographical indication is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin. GI tags ensure that the product is produced from the defined geographical location. Besides the location GI tags stands for the quality and method involved in the production/manufacturing process.
Recently, GI tags have also emerged as a significant form of Intellectual Property rights. India enacted the geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, which has then been implemented with effect from 15 September 2003.
GI tags ensure that only the registered users or the people residing within the geographical location or territory, shall be permitted to market the product under the registered trademark. Among the numerous GI tagged products Darjeeling tea was the first product from India to obtain this status.
The benefits emanating when registered under a geographical indication are numerous, and to illustrate a few benefits, Firstly, it facilitates the enhancement of the region’s economic growth and promotes wide expansion of its business, as the registered GI tag could be incorporated while marketing the product.
Secondly, only the Registered GI tag owner, which are generally the people belonging to a particular region who are authorized to market the product. They have the legal right to the product and Authorization preventing fraudsters the right to sell any product with a particular GI Tag.
Further, GI tag facilitates Tourism opportunity, it also helps to establish a global reputation and ready market for the product inviting tourists from various parts of the world to have a first-hand experience of the product and the traits which make the products unique from the similar products available in the market from another region.
It is apt to enumerate below some of the popular GI Tagged products marketed in our country.
1. Darjeeling Tea: - It was one of the first product to gain GI tag registration in India. Darjeeling tea also referred to as the “Champagne of teas” holds its reputation for its quality and distinctiveness associated with the location of its cultivation i.e., Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.
2. Kashmiri Pashmina: - Pashmina shawl is spun from the wool obtained from Changtangi goat which are domesticated and reared in Kashmir, at a very high altitude. The wool obtained from these goats are very fine. The tender and fine feeling associated with it, is the most prominent characteristic of the Pashmina shawl. Besides the luxurious feel of the Pashmina, another attraction is the beautiful artwork on the shawl makes it all the more desirable.
3. Paithani saree: - It is variety of saree named after the Paithan town, in Aurangabad, from the state of Maharashtra. A Paithani is a gold and silk embedded saree, characterised by borders of an oblique square design and a pallu with a peacock design.
4. Nagpur Orange: - It is variety of mandarin orange cultivated and grown in Nagpur. It is popular for its sweet and juicy pulp, which is typically associated with the tropical climate of Nagpur.
5. Malabar pepper: - Black Pepper commonly referred to as ‘Black Gold’ and “The King of spices” is one of the most important and widely consumed spice in the world. Malabar pepper is a variety of black pepper originated and grown in the Malabar region of Kerala. It holds a spicy and pungent flavour, which is desired by many making it an inevitable ingredient in cuisines, all over the world. Seasoning of dishes like grilled meat, soups, scrambled eggs, etc. enhancing the aroma and flavour of the preparation. Further, it is also possesses several medicinal and therapeutic values which provide relief from cold and cough, tooth and gum problems, etc.
6. Nashik wine: - Nashik is also described as “The wine capital of India” which is famous for its world class wines. The quality of Nashik wines is directly related with the grapes grown in high altitude of Nashik. Over a period of time Nashik has emerged as a well-known tourist destination, with the tourists flocking to visit the vineyards and the exotic wine produced from the vineries.
7. Cashew Feni: - Feni is a typical goan product made out of Cashew fruit, which was awarded Geographical indication registration in 2009, as a special alcoholic beverage from Goa. It is a colourless, clear liquid that develops a golden-brown tint, when matured in wooden barrels. Originally, it was a triple distilled product but recently the same has been made available as double distilled, as the spirit, is considered too strong of an alcoholic beverage, for common consumption.
8. Alphonso mango: - Alphonso mangoes is popularly known as the “King of Mangoes” because of its rich, sweet, tender juicy and non-fibrous pulp. These qualities are attributed to a unique combination of geographical conditions, peculiar to western India, especially alongside the coastlines of Maharashtra and Goa.
9. Kolhapuri Chappal: - These are sturdy leather chappals, famous for its hand-crafted and tanning process using vegetable dyes. Kolhapuri chappals are particular to the region of Kolhapur, Maharashtra and the art of making this rugged chappals are passed down from one generation to another.
Exhorting one and all to cherish GI tagged products and be a part of the movement to enhance and promote its usage.
Written by - Andrea Cheradil