Trade and Industry

Sunday, 15 June 2003

Extension of the Additional Geographical Indications for Wines and Spirits to other Products: Developing a SADC Position

  • Year: 2003
  • Organisation: SATRN
  • Author(s): Felix Maonera
  • Countries and Regions: Southern African Development Community (SADC)

The international commodity market is increasingly characterized by a fall in the relative value of products mainly due to increased competition. Because of the competitive pressures in the global market place, it is not surprising that exporters from economies that rely relatively more for their well being on the export of commodities such as agricultural products and processed foods, are seeking to market their products by making them more identifiable and interesting in international markets, using distinctive, inventive and creative labelling and branding to appeal to consumers. This is supposed to enable stronger marketing of distinctive or traditional regional products, especially agricultural and processed foods, and to preserve a strong and distinctive market presence on the international markets. It is thought that, for example, tea or coffee is more valuable if sold under a distinctive mark than it would be if sold as bulk, and that its value in the eyes of the consumer may be enhanced by the use of descriptive or laudatory terms such as 'from the mountains of.' The envisaged economic benefit of geographical indications is their role as marks of quality, a factor thought to play a part in enhancing export markets and revenues. The question of the protection of geographical indications is therefore a trade issue on which positions taken reflect trade interests.