Specefic signs of origin and quality for Agricol Products

March 26, 2017
Why specific signs of origin and quality for agricultural products ? 1. Food Product constitutes the essential of cultural identity of the population and their method of life; 2. Consumer is aware of preservation of traditions and varieties of biodiversity animal and vegetable The consumers of our country know the links between the food in the plat and the farm.
Agricultural label , Geographical Indication And Denomination of  Origin ?
There are two types of specific signs of origin and quality:

–  Referring to method of production : Agricultural Label (AL)
–  Linking to the territory: Geographical Indication (GI) and Denomination of origin (DO);
1.Product labeled by agricultural label if it is produced according the code of practices and link to particular production
Example:  Red Label in Frensh
The agricultural label doesn’t refer to the origin
2.The product benefit for GI if it comply with quality requirement  and/or notoriety is determinate by area;
Example: Olive  oil “Toscane”  Italy
3.The product benefit for DO if it comply with determined quality requirements link to geographical area (Ecology conditions of culture), knowledge of local population and/or productions conditions or process.
Example: Cheese  “Roquefort” FrenchGeographical Indication or Denomination of origin  doesn`t create:
– It is recognized;
– It is belong to exist product.

– This specific sign of origin and quality comes under search the process of authenticity which this link to the supply chain;
– It gives ad value to the product and to the local producers  ;
– This signs satisfy the consumers. So they traced to there    products and they can pay more for them.

Morocco fames of different food products with varieties. There  products are the result of natural environment, traditional practices   of producers and the development of culinary  of food processing;

At present, only wine products benefit from denomination of origin

Why we should protect AL, GI and  DO ?
– If the product have a good reputation behind the country boards, it may affected by imitating products with bad quality by using there denomination.  So it is marketed under unfair trade condition witch cause not only foliar of producers but also induce consumers in error.
– So  there is an urgent need for legal framework to protect producers and the consumers.

How GI and DO are protected internationally ?
We can assure protected GI through trades administration by word properties organization  (WIPO) :
1. Paris  convention to protect industrial properties;
2. Lisbon Accord to protect denominations of origin.
Articles 22, 23 and 24 of ADPIC (Accord sur les aspects des droits de propriété intellectuelle qui touchent au commerce) trade the international protection of GI by World Trade Organization (WTO);
But, at this time, only spirituous and wine products are protected by this accord;
This three articles did not refer to the human factors (knowledge of the local population) and not refer to the ecology factors of the origin and the quality of this products.
In particular the producers of GI/DO, members of OriGin  association , asking for:
1. Expending the protection of GI products according to the article 23 for additional products,
2. To create multilateral registration for all products,
3. To provide technical assistant for in develop countries to gate benefit from producing GI and DO products.

How to register LA, GI or DO ?
1. Application submitted by professional body or group of producers or local collective public administration determine the name of product (raw materiel, process of production, transformation,   conservation, etc.) according to the code of practices.
2. The application submitted to the ministry of agriculture. The application review by national commission to decide wither to accept it or refuse it
The national commission consist from representation of the government, the Moroccan intellectual properties Agency, research institution, chamber of agriculture and six (6) representatives from the professional bodies concerned.
3. The national commission owners the application submitted in the daily news for the period of two months to inform the public ;
The national commission has six months to submit his position to the ministry of agriculture ;
4. The ministry of agriculture will older approve or reject the application protect for GI/DO ;
If the application is accepted, the ministry of  agriculture will registered the GI/Do twice at :
5. Ministry of agriculture registered, and;
6.   Moroccan Office of intellectual and marketing proprieties registered (OMPIC, Law in 2006 )
-> Register in ministry of agriculture guaranties the authentic of culture and heritage of product;
-> Register in the OMPIC assure the protection  of GI or DO product inside and outside the country  against fraud or imitation.
By this registration, the government will have the ownership of GO/DO, to assure the collective use of this signs by the local population and preserve the collective heritage.
The role of government is to provide technical and financier assistance to the local population in order to assist them to comply law and regulation of GI  and DO

After the recognition and the registration, start product, control and certification:
– The control and the  certification the GI/DO products conducted by professionals and independent privet or government bodies ;
– The certification bodies are accredited by the ministry of agriculture in behalf of the national commission ;
– The certification bodies make sure that GI/DO producers are fulfill the code of practices the requirements and the traceability of this product.

Author: Khadija Bendriss