Guyana seeking to recapture ‘Demerara’ name
GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, December 1, 2016
The Commercial Registry has received three applications for the registration of the name Demerara as a Geographical Indication (GI).
The three applications are for Demerara Sugar, Demerara Molasses and Demerara Rum. Frist Vice President (VP) Carl Greenidge said that recapturing the name provides opportunities for producers to obtain market recognition.
“GI protection for those products means that a given name, Demerara, can only be used for products made or originating in Guyana and if production is moved out of Guyana they will no longer enjoy that domain feature,” the Vice President explained at the opening of the GI Conference at the Marriott’s Hotel, Kingston, today.
The two-day conference, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is being held under the theme “Enhancing market access and promoting certification for quality origin products in Guyana.”
GIs are names and other designations associated with quality products coming from specific places where the geographical origin of the products gives them specific qualities, characteristics and reputation. Unlike trademarks, a producer cannot take the name if production is no longer done in the country.
The project is being funded by the European Union (EU) through the ACP-EU TBT Programme. The conference sought to raise awareness among key stakeholders and establish the foundations for the development of the legal protection of geographical traditional names for quality products from Guyana.
VP Greenidge pointed out that Article 145 of the EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) makes provision for the protection for geographical indications however; products must first be protected in its own country.
The Vice President noted that Guyana currently is not benefiting from this provision since there are no registered GIs locally.
There is great potential for economic development, VP Greenidge noted, “Geographical Indications are now therefore developing quite fast they represent an important instrument for trade, rural development, protection of knowhow and tradition as well as products promotion and tourism,” VP Greenidge said.
Meanwhile, CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary General for Trade and Economic Integration, Joseph Cox noted that GIs are essential to enabling Caribbean countries to compete on international markets. Cox noted that there are already products within CARICOM that show the need for legal protection of these products.
Guyana’s move to acquire the legal right to the Demerara name prevents the usurpation of the value of the products. “The work here in Guyana will therefore give significant impetus to our progress across the region with the application for three Geographical Indications,” Cox pointed out.
By Tiffny Rhodius