Wanning Xinglong coffee has been included in the list of protected geographical indications agreement between China and Europe.
The China-EU Agreement on Geographical Indications came into force on March 1.
What is a geographical indication?
A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.
In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin. Since the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production.
A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. For example, in the jurisdictions in which the Xinglong geographical indication is protected, producers of Xinglong coffee can exclude the use of the term “Xinglong” for coffee not grown on their coffee plant or not produced according to the standards set out in the code of practice for the geographical indication.
Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.
Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ)
The Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) organized the application for Xinglong products to be included on the geographical indicated product list and has since expanded the range to include Xinglong coffee.
In 1951, shortly after the birth of the People’s Republic of China, returning overseas Chinese from more than 20 countries and regions in Southeast Asia came to Xinglong and built the Xinglong Overseas Farm.
Due to the limitations of production equipment and living conditions at the time, it was difficult to grow rubber which was more in demand at that time. The farm started to grow crops such as coffee, lemongrass, rice and other short term crops, to support the planting of rubber trees.
The agreement on the protection and cooperation of geographical indicators between China and the EU is the first comprehensive and high-level bilateral agreement on geographical indications concluded by China.
According to the agreement, 100 products from each side will be included in the first batch of the Geographical Indications Protection List.
The signing of the agreement is win-win cooperation between the EU and China.
It is of landmark significance in strengthening China-EU economic and trade relations.
The negotiations started in 2011 and took eight years to set a high level of protection rules for geographical indications. The Appendix to the Agreement includes over 500 geographical indications from both parties.
The agreement includes wine, tea, agricultural products and food. It also includes some items which represent traditional Chinese culture such as Xuan paper and Shu (shuchuan) brocade.
This is the first time that the EU has included such geographical indications in its agreements, which previously covered only agricultural products, food and alcohol.
The first 100 geographical indication entries in China are now officially protected by the European Union.
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