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Government wants GI products on bigger retail canvas
The Economic Times, December 07, 2018


NEW DELHI: Banarasi sarees, Kashmiri walnut wood carvings, Chanderi fabric and Moradabadi metal craft are among more than 300 products identified closely with a place that could soon get a big push in select retail chains.

The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) has sought tie-ups with big retailers in the country to promote and sell such products under its recently launched geographical indication (GI) logo.

“We are looking at ways to market GIs and have reached out to many retailers so that they sell under the GI logo and the logo gets recognition,” an official said, without revealing details of the chains approached.

There are 325 products from India that carry this indication, including Mahabaleshwar strawberry, blue pottery of Jaipur and Tirupati laddu. Alphonso mango is the latest addition. The first farm product to get a GI tag in India was Darjeeling tea in 2004.

“We are developing quality assurance system for GIs since there are certain products that are popular with foreign audiences,” the official added. “The idea of governments promoting local GI products is not unheard of. Scotch whisky is one such example. The move will benefit local art and craft industry,” said an expert on intellectual property rights.

GI tags are awarded to products that have a specific geographic origin and possess qualities or a reputation due to that place. Once a country accords GI status to a product, its name cannot be used by producers of the same product at a different place.

The government wants to popularise existing GIs so that both producers and consumers recognise their significance, according to the official.

“Just like the government has associated itself with Khadi, now they want GI products to be easily identifiable and maintain integrity of such products. This is a positive step, especially at a time when the European Union has a strong regime on GIs and IPR,” said another IPR expert.

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