Illustrative image (Source: Internet)

Binh Thuan (VNA) – Officials and producers in the southern central province of Binh Thuan studied the Geographic Indication (GI) system of Europe at a workshop on November 13 with a view to developing plans to improve local products’ quality to meet the system’s standards.

Van Cong Thoi, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Science and Technology, said GI protection is important to the development of local specialty products as well as the rights of producers and traders.

The protection is effective or not, according to Thoi, will depend on the way of running the GI management system, first of all the internal and independent examination of the use of GI, to ensure the quality of products when putting them onto the market.

In order to develop GI protection for Binh Thuan dragon fruits and Phan Thiet fish sauce to overseas export markets, since 2009, the department has assisted the associations of local producers of dragon fruits and Phan Thiet fish sauce in applying for GI registration.

A total of 81 organisations and individuals have been so far granted GI protection for their dragon fruits with a combined area of 2,200 hectares while 52 organisations and individuals have received GI protection for their Phan Thiet fish sauce with a total volume of 47 million litres per year.

Nguyen Thanh Binh, Director of the Intellectual Property Development Centre under the National Office for Intellectual Property, said Vietnam and Europe are finalising the signing of the bilateral free trade agreement under which all GIs of Vietnamese goods will be protected in Europe, including Binh Thuan dragon fruit.

Binh Thuan has more than 28,000 hectares of dragon fruit-farming land, producing around 500,000 tonnes per year, accounting for 90 percent of the country’s total dragon fruit exports to Japan, the United States and India. Some 8,000 ha of farms have met VietGAP standards.-VNA