What is Geographical Indication (GI) and Why Does it Matter?

The GI logo on a product signifies a strong connection between its specific geographic region and name. It denotes that the product's unique qualities, reputation, or characteristics are inherently tied to its geographical origin. Beyond this, GI serves as an intellectual property right (IP), offering legal protection against misuse by third parties not adhering to applicable standards.

Ceylon Cinnamon Achieves Historic Milestone with EU Recognition

On February 2, 2022, Ceylon cinnamon, an iconic brand from Sri Lanka, achieved a significant milestone by securing the country's first-ever Geographical Indication (GI) certification and status from the European Union (EU) Commission. This momentous occasion places Ceylon Cinnamon in the esteemed register of Protected Designations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI), as officially published in the European Union's journal.

Ceylon Cinnamon's GI Specification & Distinguishing Features

The GI certification for Ceylon Cinnamon spans four product categories: cut quills, powder, leaf oil, and bark oil. Notably, this certification is a collective right of use for the entire country, emphasizing the inclusive involvement of every participant in the cinnamon supply/value chain – from growers / producers to processors to traders/exporters. Ceylon cinnamon stands out in the global market due to its distinctive characteristics: golden yellow to light brown color, smooth skin, thin bark, sweeter and harsh taste, and ultra-low levels of harmful coumarin. The traditional technique of preparing cinnamon quills, ensuring uniform thickness and small layers inside, is a unique skill mastered by artisans in Sri Lanka. These quality traits are a result of the natural and human factors inherent to the incredible Sri Lankan environment, including climate, soil quality, and local expertise.

Beyond Place: Recognizing People and Tradition

Geographical Indication is not merely about linking a product to a place; it's a recognition of the skill and achievements of the people behind its production. In the case of Ceylon Cinnamon, it represents an endorsement of its unparalleled quality and an acknowledgment of the long tradition and rich history associated with the internationally renowned spice. In a world where consumers prioritize the origin and quality of their purchases, GI-certified products play a crucial role. The GI label on Ceylon cinnamon assures consumers of its origin, specific characteristics, and production methods. It goes beyond being a mere label; it's a guarantee of authenticity and a testament to the exceptional standards maintained in the production of this globally acclaimed spice.

The Impacts of GI on Ceylon Cinnamon Export Industry

The recent Geographical Indication (GI) recognition for Ceylon Cinnamon marks a significant milestone for the export industry. This achievement promises a plethora of advantages:

  • Right to Exclusivity: GI registration grants exclusive rights, securing Ceylon Cinnamon's distinct identity in the global market.
  • Protection of Reputation: Safeguarding the reputation of Ceylon Cinnamon ensures that consumers can confidently choose a product of exceptional quality.
  • Protection of Collective Goodwill: The collective efforts of those involved in the production chain receive protection, fostering a positive image for Ceylon Cinnamon.
  • Quality Assurance: GI status acts as a guarantee of quality, assuring consumers of the authenticity and superior standards maintained in the production of Ceylon Cinnamon.
  • Establishing Authenticity: The GI label on Ceylon Cinnamon establishes its authenticity, reinforcing the link between the product and its geographical origin.
  • Preventing Abuse: Legal protection under GI prevents unauthorized use of the Ceylon Cinnamon label, ensuring its integrity is maintained.
  • Ensuring Quality and Better Returns: The overarching impact of GI is the assurance of quality, leading to increased consumer trust and, consequently, better returns for those involved in the Ceylon Cinnamon industry.

In conclusion, the Geographical Indication for Ceylon Cinnamon not only safeguards its unique attributes but also propels the growth of the export industry, offering a win-win scenario for producers, consumers, and Sri Lanka's agricultural landscape.