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Farmers and producers in Portland and St. Mary, were sensitised about the benefits of Geographical Indications (GIs) in certifying the quality of Jamaican produce and to attract and maintain a reliable customer base in a globalised marketplace, at a seminar held recently at the St. Theresa’s Church Hall in Annotto Bay, St. Mary.
The seminar, organised by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, was the third in a series being held islandwide, to familiarise producers about the concept of GIs and the benefits to the country from the use of the marks.
Among the topics covered were: ‘The implications of Geographical Indications on Rural Development’; ‘Specific requirements for potential Geographic Indications’; and ‘Factors supporting the beneficial use of Geographical Indications in Jamaica’.
Presenters were: Local Expert, Geographical Indications Project Jamaica-Switzerland, Sara-Ruth Allen; Deputy Director/Legal Council for the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, Lilly Claire Bellamy; Attorney-at-Law and Geographical Indications Consultant, Loreen Walker; and Andrei Brissett of Fi Wi Foods.
Geographical Indications refer to the name or sign used on certain products, which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin, such as a town, region, or country. The use of a GIs may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.
JIPO is working with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property on the GI initiative locally, and produce such as yam, Blue Mountain Coffee, ginger, scotch bonnet peppers, and pimento, which enjoy a good reputation all over the world, but are not adequately protected, are being targeted under the effort.
The seminar also discussed production standards and a well designed code of practice.
Manager for Trademarks Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications Directorate at JIPO, Kai-Saran Davis, urged producers who attended the seminar to sensitise others about the importance of Geographical Indications and how they could benefit from the initiative.