Minister of Tourism hopes WIPO Sub-Regional Workshop will help the Caribbean maximize on the concept of Geographical Indications
ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, August 27, 2013 – GIS: In her remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Sub-Regional Training Workshop on Geographical Indications and Branding held at the Coyaba Beach Resort on Monday, the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, the Hon. Alexandra Otway-Noel said that she hopes the workshop will provide “the kiss needed to awaken the geographical indication potential of the Caribbean.”
She addressed participants from Suriname, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, and briefly pointed out the benefits that geographical indications can bring, not only to Grenada but to the wider Caribbean.
According to the Tourism Minister, although the concept of geographical indications has been around for many years and research shows that products with geographical indication labels usually sell at above-average prices, only a few developed countries, such as Switzerland and France have made strides to label some of their signature products as geographical indications.
“It seems as if the rest of the world has been slow to the use of this concept to its advantage and the Caribbean is not an exception,” Minister Otway-Noel said. “Apart from Jamaica with its Blue Mountain Coffee and Jerk Seasoning, no other Caribbean Territory has done any significant work in the area of geographical indications, and we have so much to celebrate in the region.”
Minister Otway-Noel, who is fully aware of the potential of geographical indications as a marketing tool in the tourism industry said, that they will also help the Caribbean to preserve what is culturally, geographically and historically unique to this very competitive landscape.”
According to the Minister, the Government of Grenada intends to use the geographical indications system, together with other intellectual property tools to boost Agriculture and Tourism, and protect its nutmeg and other spices, which will form an important pillar in its branding strategy.
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