Geographical Indications: News from the UK and New Zealand

If you're a foodie and an IP enthusiast, no doubt Geographical Indications (GIs) are a favourite topic of discussion. Recently, two GI related developments have caught this kat’s eye, in the UK and New Zealand.

A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that particular origin. The GI identifies a good as originating in the territory where a particular quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. The purpose of the GI is to inform consumers about a product’s geographical origin and a quality, characteristic or reputation of the product linked to its place of origin. [Protection is provided under the TRIPS Agreement] For example Greek Yoghurt (Kat post here) and the Cornish Pasty (Kat post here).

Kats keeping an eye on the Fish
In recent news in the UK, the country's oldest smoked salmon business H Forman and Sons has become the first London food producer of either food or drink to receive the hallowed European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for our London Cure smoked salmon.

The GI status was granted after a four-year process and the award has been praised by Prime Minister Theresa May and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. H Forman & Sons stated on their website that they welcomed the protection for their craft which they have been practicing for over 100 years.

Unavoidably, as is the case of anything regulated at EU level… someone whispers ‘what about Brexit?’ As Lance Forman, formerly a special adviser to Conservative MP Peter Lilley and now owner of H Forman & Sons said: “Nobody 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.”

Evidently, being signatory to the TRIPS agreement, the UK will still continue to have GI protection but this will need to added to the ever growing list of new regulation required. Perhaps the UK might look over to New Zealand where such legislation has just been approved.

Just testing the geographical authenticity of this wine 
New Zealand has approved and published new regulations that establish the Geographical Indications Register for wines and spirits. The long awaited regulations set out the procedure for examining and registering a geographical indication under the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006. The Act and regulations come into force on the 27th July 2017. The regulation is particularly relevant for the protection of the New Zealand wine brand, a reputation that was recognised by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs the Honourable Jacqui Dean.

After the 27th July 2017 it will be possible to apply to register a geographical indication in New Zealand for foreign and domestic GIs. The registration process, and the Register of Geographical Indications, will be administered by Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand.

It will be interesting to see how the legislation is applied in New Zealand and if/how the UK decide to legislate on GIs in the future.

Cats vs Fish Tanks here.
Photo credit: (fishtank) play4smee and (wine) Helena Jacoba
Geographical Indications: News from the UK and New Zealand Geographical Indications: News from the UK and New Zealand Reviewed by Hayleigh Bosher on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 Rating: 5


  1. Found this - which includes the statement that "nearly 32% of EU GI products are sold in France" and in a chart shows that the UK sits alongside Spain (behind France and Germany and Italy) on "Consumption of GI products per Member State (by value)" :

  2. Is that low figure because Newkie Brown is no longer protected?


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