Vietnamese Thieu lychee granted certificate of geographical indication in Japan
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At the Ministry of Science and Technology’s annual press brie lately, the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam announced that it has supported Bac Giang Province to register for geographical indication, which is used in trade to identify a product originating from a particular place. This has given the product its special quality or reputation.
Nguyen Mai Duong, Chief of Office of the Ministry of Science and Technology, stressed that the fruit, the first of its kind in Vietnam, is officially granted geographical indication in Japan marking the turning point in the export of Vietnamese fruit to Japan. The event is also expected to open more opportunities for Vietnam’s export of lychee and other fruits in another difficult market as Japan, which is one of the most fastidious markets in the world with the strict requirements.
In addition to Thieu lychee, the Ministry has also been supporting provinces in registration of the certificate of geographical indication for two other Vietnamese agricultural products including Buon Ma Thuot coffee in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak and dragon fruit in the Central Province of Binh Thuan .
Deputy Director of the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam Nguyen Van Bay said the certificate of geographical indication likes a “passport” for Thieu lychee entering Japanese market. Before, to be eligibly displayed in Japan’s market, the fruit's quality had been checked to meet the local food safety requirement. Japan has sent its experts to Vietnam for assessment of growing procedures, harvesting, and preservation after receiving Vietnam’s registration of geographical indication certificate.
To get a geographical indication certificate in Japan, Vietnam must prove the natural characteristics of the production area such as climate and soil conditions where the fruit is grown. To satisfy Japan’s requirement, the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam and related competent agencies have collected factors sending back to Japan which then set up a council comprising of sociologists, agricultural experts and scientists for granting the certificate to assess Vietnam’s proposal for the geographical indication certificate.
Lychee is the fourth fruit from Vietnam that has successfully made an inroad into the Japanese market, following dragon fruit, mango and banana. Thieu lychee has been already granted geographical protection in six countries - China, Laos, Cambodia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Australia. The product has been exported to many countries worldwide.
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