Geographical Indications-Darjeeling tea
The idea of trade, and what makes trade valuable for societies, has evolved .The economic transition to the modern trading system demands a regulatory mechanism, which did not comply with the traditional ways of trading. The World Trade Organization (WTO), global international organization, provides the instrument to augment smooth, predictable and free trade flows between nations.
The TRIPS Agreement under WTO, adopted in 1994, plays a critical role in facilitating trade in knowledge and creativity, in resolving trade disputes over intellectual property, and in assuring WTO members the scope to achieve their domestic objectives .This was important as trading of goods today, is not confined to shipping of goods only, but comprises an entire system of innovation, creativity and branding.
A geographical indication (GI), under TRIP, is a name or sign used on products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country). It acts as a certification of the products bearing the unique physiognomies and the tradition of the place of origin.Appellation of origin is a subtype of geographical indication where the complete spectrum of the production- quality, method and reputation strictly originate from the allocated area defined under its intellectual property right registration.
Why is GI important?
Geographical indications present a remarkable marketing potential in terms of product branding. It provides a competitive edge to the local products in the international market through an added value and forms a basis of identity .By generating a premium brand price; they contribute to local employment and a safe haven for new business enterprise and other GIs in the region. It also helps in economic resilience by preventing or minimizing the external shock affecting the price percentage. Preservation of natural resources essential for the production, the traditional knowhow and ultimately the environment is other impacts of the GIs. Geographical Indications, does not only provision product imprinting but the entire region acting as catalyst for tourism. The outlined impacts are not guaranteed and depends on an interplay of available conditions at the GIs applied areas.
Is GI only for agricultural goods?
Majority of the GIs throughout the world are applied to agricultural product as they are influenced by specific local, geographical factors such as climate and soil. In recent years, the human expertise that is used in the place of origin, such as specific manufacturing skills and traditions are also entitled to the GIs. That is the case, for instance, for handicrafts, which are generally handmade using local natural resources and usually embedded in the traditions of local communities.
Darjeeling tea –GI tag
Government of India enacted Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act in 1999(Came into force in 2003).The journey began with Darjeeling tea around 2004-2005. So far total of 320 products have been given GI status in India.
Darjeeling tea with its distinctness of flavour and colour from the others rose to fame and was patronized by tea connoisseurs across the world. It required protection as duplication was rampant under its name in the global market and marring its genuineness. The first step to obtaining this protection for Darjeeling tea began in 1983, by the creation of a logo as a certification trademark. The GI tag which came in effort in 2004 was able to save the long heritage of Darjeeling tea by providing it