Geographical Branding for the Mangoes from Guimaras (Philippines)

Guimaras, touted as the “Mango Capital of the Philippines”, celebrated its Manggahan Festival in May 22nd this year.[1] In fact no one will dispute if Guimaras is proclaimed as the “Mango Capital of the WORLD”, considering their sheer love for the sweet fruit, evident by the consumption and sale of varied items of mangoes, ranging right from ‘Mango Pizzas’ to ‘Mango Ketchups’!

But shifting attention from the region to the actual fruit, the reportedly (believed to be) ‘sweetest-variety’ Mangoes from the region, as reported by Manilla Bulletin[2], have finally been granted a Geographical Indication tag which will boost its export which had dwindled in the past few years owing to erratic weather conditions[3] Manila Bulletin’s report was further confirmed by the Western regional director of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of Philippines, Rebecca Rascon.

The GI tag provides protection to the unique native products originating from that particular region in the country and therefore certifies that the mangoes are grown and produced by members of Guimaras Mango Growers and Producers Development Cooperative. The move will surely go a long way in protecting the reputation of Guimaras Mangoes from “fake” and low quality mangoes, meanwhile also ensuring the label of ‘Guimaras Mangoes’ are no longer used by other producers to sell and earn profits from; and that the consumers are buying real Guimara mangoes only.

DTI’s Intellectual Property Office of Philippines (IPOPHL) was responsible for processing the registration of Guimaras mangoes as one of the country’s native products with geographical branding.[4]

The launch of the GI tag was the highlight of this year’s Manggahan Festival, which ended on May 22. The mango festival also coincided with the 25th founding anniversary of Guimaras, which was previously part of Iloilo province.

Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin, meanwhile has established Task Force Golden Island to strongly enforce and make sure that non-Guimaras mangoes are not sold in the local market.

About the author : Abin T. Sam, Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Can be reached at abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com

References:

[1] A. French, Lillberth. ‘New record in Manggahan ‘eat-all-you-can’. Philippines Information Agency. http://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/931495529552 (accessed on 16th June 2017).

[2] Yap, Tara. ‘Guimaras mangoes earn geographical branding’. Manila Bulletin. http://newsbits.mb.com.ph/2017/05/20/guimaras-mangoes-earn-geographical-branding/ (accessed on 27th June 2017).

[3] Santos, Maricyn. ‘GI seal protection from fake Guimaras Mangoes’. Banner News. https://thedailyguardian.net/banner-news/gi-seal-protection-fake-guimaras-mangoes/ (accessed on June 2017).

[4] ‘Guimaras gets IPO GI seal for sweetest mangoes’. Philippines News Agency. http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/986928. (accessed on 16th June 2017).

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