Sunday, 17 April 2016

Cocoa: more than a hot drink

The IPtango is always covering the matter of Geographical Indications (GI) and debates have been opened due to some queries: does it help the producers? Is it just economic exploitation? Does it deteriorate the product? One way or another, it is always good to know what is going on with a particular product.

The Peruvian Institute of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) has been providing activities to its citizens, be it training or awareness on IP (in general). And this cannot be a bad thing. This month for example I read about one of this activities which took place in the region of Amazons. INDECOPI’s Directorate of Distinctive Signs gave training to the Technical Committee of Cocoa, and to the Regional Government of Amazonas, on the various tools offered by IP for the protection of natural resources especially GI protection. Previously, the Technical Committee of Cocoa has showed interest of obtaining a GI for cocoa and thus, the INDECOPI’s office took this opportunity to provide them  with  some ideas on this regards.

Image result for cacao peru amazon tesco
 I can find this in my local supermarket,
but it is not from the Peruvian Amazon...or, is it?
INDECOPI reports that the training focused “on the benefits of having a designation of origin for cocoa.” It explained that a GI “allows a product to be differentiated from other similar offered in the market, because it has features that make it unique and attract consumer preference.” It also noted the “development phases for recognition of a designation of origin and the importance of promoting relations between people, territories and products for sustainable rural development.”

The training was not just focused on GI but also covered other IP tools such as collective marks, and trade marks. It highlighted IP as a good tool to be used by entrepreneurs and associations to protect their products and services. Apart from covering aspect of fair competition, INDECOPI also acknowledged how these tools can be used for the development of their region.

Aside from the point of IP I wonder: is it a good move to be looking at the exploitation of cacao  this time? Last year we heard the news that some companies were illegally deforesting the area (approx 7,000 hectares) and other companies were acquiring rural properties. Or, would this be actually the right moment for small enterprises to unify themselves and regulated what is to be regarded as proper cocoa from the Amazon region? some indication as the way it needs to be cultivated and to link it to natural factors but also to human ones as well...that would be a thought.

Source INDECOPI.

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