( EU Ambassador Franz Jessen (middle) together with Romanian Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. Mr Mihai Sion,  and German Deputy Ambassador Michael Hasper talk with Ms Rose Giesser of the Guimaras Mango Growers and Producers Association Development Cooperative). Media Contact: Thelma Gecolea, Public Affairs Officer, Mobile 09209661371
Mango industry stakeholders committed to start developing a “Code of Practice” to push for the certification of Guimaras Mango as a geographical indication during a recent meeting with EU Ambassador Franz Jessen held in Guimaras.

Ms Rose Griesser, Chairperson of the Guimaras Mango Growers and Producers Development Cooperative,  pledged to work on the cooperative’s code of practice as an initial step to pushing for the application for certification of “Guimaras Mango” as a geographical indication.

Geographical indications are distinctive signs used to identify a product as originating in the territory of a particular country, region or locality where its quality, reputation or other characteristic is linked to its geographical origin.

EU Ambassador Jessen said that “Guimaras mangoes” have strong potential and farmers could expand their international export market should they take advantage of the opportunities the protection and familiarity the “Guimaras Mango” can provide.

“Geographical indications support rural development, provide new job opportunities and  add value to products such as ‘Guimaras mango’”, said Ambassador Jessen.

EU Ambassador Jessen was with Mr Mihai Sion, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. and German Deputy Ambassador Michael Hasper for a two-day  mission to Guimaras Island.

Meanwhile, the Guimaras mango farmers were among the beneficiaries of workshops and trainings designed to assist the Guimaras mango producers and processors in putting the Code of Practice for Guimaras Mango as a GI that will be duly certified by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines. Marketing GIs, international standards on foods safety, packaging and labelling for the Guimaras Mangoes were also covered in these capacity-building activities.

EU Ambassador Jessen also called on farmers to take advantage of the Generalised System of Preference (GSP+) status that was granted to the Philippines in 2014.

The GSP+ scheme allows for a significant reduction of customs tariffs on Filipino export products, and has led to a marked increase of export to the EU. The EU grants the GSP+ status to generate economic benefits that will help the benefitting country not only economically, but also to assume its responsibilities under core international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection and good governance.

During the mission, EU Ambassador Jessen and his colleagues met with Provincial Governor Dr Samuel Gamarin, Iloilo City Administrator Norlito Bautista, Jordan Mayor Cresente Chavez Jr,  the press and other local government officials in Western Visayas.The meeting with the mango industry stakeholders was linked to the Trade Related Technical Assistance Programme 3.To boost the competitiveness of specific Philippine products in the global markets, the Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) Project 3 has mobilised experts to support the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPh) in developing, promoting and protecting the “Guimaras Mango” as a Geographical Indication (GI). The “Guimaras Mango” GI serves as a label that characterizes the mangoes as both originating in Guimaras as well as reputedly fresh and sweet.

Studies show that sales value of GI registered products can be more than double in  similar products without a GI and the EU supports efforts of the Philippines to develop its own ‘sui generis’ GI regulation so that farmers can take advantage of the opportunities the protection and familiarity the products can bring. The protection of geographical indications matters economically and culturally. They can create value for local communities through products that are deeply rooted in tradition, culture and geography.

The TRTA Project 3 has conducted workshops and trainings designed to assist the Guimaras mango producers and processors in putting together the Code of Practice for Guimaras Mango as a GI that will be duly certified by the  Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).  Marketing GIs, international standards on food safety, packaging and labelling for the Guimaras Mangoes were also  covered in these capacity building activities.

Leave a Reply