Uzbekistan hosted a webinar on International Experience of using Geographical Indications (GIs) on November 27.
The webinar was attended by experts from Belgium, Turkey and France, representatives of the Intellectual Property Agency under the Justice Ministry of Uzbekistan and experts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The event was organized within the framework of the FAO Project “Strengthening the administrative system to manage and support sustainable geographical indications” designed for 2019-2020. During the implementation of the project, the Intellectual Property Agency together with FAO experts will develop a draft new Law “On Geographical Indications” taking into account the international experience of Turkey and France.
A geographical indication is a designation used products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. More generally, a geographical indication consists of the name of the place of product origin. Typical examples are agricultural products, the properties of which are determined by the place where they are produced and by special local geographic factors such as climate and soil. The functioning of a sign as a geographical indication is determined by national legislation and consumer perception.
Geographical indications can be used in connection with a wide variety of agricultural products, such as “Roquefort” for cheese produced in a certain province of France. Thus, geographical indications are more than just a designation of the source or place of production: it is a certificate of quality, as opposed to the “Made in ...” label, which does not indicate specific properties of the product.
“Improving legislation in this area will help increase exports to countries where products with geographical indications are protected and well known to consumers, such as the European Union. In addition, this will help to avoid unfair practices and to prevent consumers from being misled when using geographical indications”, Sherzod Umarov, Officer in Charge for the FAO Representation in Uzbekistan, stressed.
At the webinar, European and Turkish experts presented their countries’ excellences in the sphere as EU Legal Framework and Backbone Structure of the Law on GIs, Review System of PGI Applications in France, General Tools for Efficient Assessment and Protection, Protection of Handicraft GIs in Turkey.
FAO has extensive experience in supporting a number of countries in developing rural areas and increasing food exports using Geographical Indications. And the implementation of this project in Uzbekistan will improve the legal framework and create more opportunities for informing both producers and consumers about Geographical Indications. An established system of Geographical Indications management and protection at the national and international levels will allow producers to receive socio-economic benefits from the use of geographical indications, and consumers, in turn, will receive a guarantee that a particular product has excellent quality and unique properties.