First GI shop to open in July

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The first geographical indication (GI) shop, featuring unique products from across Thailand, is scheduled to open its doors in Bangkok this July as part of efforts to help sellers improve sales amid a sluggish downturn.
The Intellectual Property Department initiated the GI idea and has plans to promote and protect intellectual property rights for GI products in both domestic and Asean markets.
GI is a certificate indicating that goods with unique characteristics come from certain localities, provinces, regions or countries.
The department is preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MBK mall in Pathumwan district to set up the first GI shop, said department chief Vuttikrai Leewiraphan.
Food products will be on sale when the first shop opens on July 13 as part of a five-day festival meant to educate people on GI products.
Last month, the department registered two more GI products — Chai Nat hom khao jek rice and Mae Hong Son tiger stripe peanuts — and added them to a list of 136 products from 76 provinces.
The GI shop is a new sales channel under the department’s plan to promote products online and offline and help sellers — mostly villagers upcountry — survive the pandemic as trade fairs are rarely being organised.
Thailand has generated 36 billion baht in value since the government began promoting GI products, reported the department.
There are also plans to promote Thai GI products in the Asean market. They have selected two potential rice strains — Thung Kula Rong Hai hom mali rice and Sangyod Muang Phatthalung rice — for GI registration in Indonesia.
Thai products with GI labels are certified in more than 30 countries, comprising of Thung Kula Rong Hai hom mali rice, Doi Chaang coffee, Doi Tung coffee and Sangyod Muang Phatthalung rice in the EU; Isan indigenous Thai silk yarn in Vietnam; and Lamphun brocade Thai silk in India and Indonesia.
On March 1, the Intellectual Property Department also signed an MoU with China’s National Intellectual Property Administration to protect intellectual property rights of GI products in both countries in a move to urge Beijing to register Thung Kula Rong Hai hom mali rice, Pakpanang Tab Tim Siam pomelo and Phetchabun sweet tamarind.
There are 17 foreign GI products registered in Thailand, including wine from Napa Valley (American); tequila (Mexico); Scotch whisky (Scotland); Champagne (France); Buon Ma Thuot Coffee (Vietnam); Kampot pepper and Kampong Speu Palm sugar (Cambodia); and Brunello Di Montalcino wine (Italy).

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