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Geographical Indications

Written by Mekael Rahman on 26 July 2017

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A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used for identifying products with a specific geographical origin. Furthermore, these products have a reputation, possess qualities or characteristics that are inextricably linked to their originating territories. Protection is afforded under the TRIPS Agreement. Apt examples would include Greek Yoghurt and Cornish Pasty.

Recently in the UK, the country’s oldest smoked salmon business H Forman & Son has become the first London food producer to obtain the coveted European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for London Cure smoked salmon.

The entire process took four years and the award has been commended by Prime Minister Theresa May and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Moreover, H Forman & Son have stated on their website that “[w]e’ve been producing London Cure Smoked Salmon for over a century, so it was a proud day for us when our 'London Cure' smoked salmon was recognised as a delicacy worthy of PGI certification – a protected food name status similar to Champagne, Parma ham, Melton Mowbray pork pies and Wensleydale cheese to name just a few.”   

Whilst addressing the issue of Brexit, Lance Forman, the owner of H Forman & Son articulated that “[n]obody knows whether PGI status will be called into question when we leave the EU, it’s one of the things that’s up for discussion… I would imagine that if Britain is no longer part of PGI we will have our own scheme that mirrors it because there needs to be mutual respect.”

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