The European Commission has confirmed on Feb. 18, 2016 that "Mrech Kampot/ Poivre de Kampot" (Kampot Pepper) has been registered on the EU market as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) - the first Cambodian product to receive this status, said a press release of the EU Delegation to Cambodia dated Feb. 29.
According to the press release, as a key element in the quality policy of the EU, registration as a GI provides an added value to the traditional reputation of Kampot Pepper, as it will help combat counterfeiting and fake products marketed in the EU, as well as help boost the market performance of the product in the EU, in Cambodia and on other markets because the product will be able to carry the PGI quality logo from now on.
This is the very first GI registration for a Cambodian product in the EU, which is made up of 28 countries and has a single market of more than 500 million consumers. "Mrech Kampot / Poivre de Kampot" will benefit from a very high level of protection on the EU market, notably against imitations, and evocations of the name, avoiding non-genuine Kampot Pepper which might abuse its reputation. It is the 20th non-EU Geographical Indication protected in the EU under Regulation 1151/2012, joining a number of prestigious products.
The registration of this Cambodian flagship GI should pave the way for further registration of GI products from Cambodia, as this success story could be transposed to other Cambodian high quality products.
Geographical Indications (GIs) are a type of intellectual property that identifies a product as originating in a region or in a particular country and being obtained through specific production methods. The reputation of a GI product for quality or authenticity is intimately linked to its geographical origin. Geographical Indications are very important in the EU, where there is a rich history of local and specialist agricultural production and many famous products closely linked to their place of origin: think of Coffee of Colombia or Champagne or Darjeeling Tea.
GIs are also important for developing countries. GIs can protect and preserve intellectual property related to traditional cultures, geographical diversity and production methods. In Cambodia, through its development cooperation, the EU supported the Association for the Promotion of Kampot Pepper in their effort to promote and market better their high quality product.