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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Geographical Indications, Local Product, Organic Product

Today I'm going to talk to you about these three types of products that everybody confuses a lot, or that they don't care about and that they trust the most. Geographical Indication Marked Products, Local Products and Organic Products… When we first think of local products, it is the name given to products belonging to a certain region, as it will be evident from the name. For example, we call almost all products such as Taşköprü Sarımsağı, Maraş Pepper, Ayvalık Olive Oil, Ezine Cheese as local products. In addition, it is an example of local products in endemic plants or various products produced in that region. Special products of that region, such as Uşak carpet, Şile Cloth, Kula Hand Carpet, processed by people are also called local. If we come to organic products, we can think of food products in general. What we call organic are actually products produced under natural conditions. We generally call herbal and animal products produced without using artificial fertilizers, GMO and similar artificial technologies and additives as organic products. A product that is not produced specifically for a region may be organic. For example, you can buy Taşköprü Sarımsağı and produce it under organic conditions in Antalya, but the name of the garlic you produce will not be Local Taşköprü Garlic, it will be organic garlic. In order for it to be Taşköprü Sarımsağı, it must be produced only in that region. We said that food products are generally the majority among organic products. However, when product development has developed a lot, many products have started to be produced, from fabrics made of organic linen to toys made of organic wood. As people become more conscious, their fondness for nature strengthens product development. For this reason, many products that have been forgotten in the local issue come to light, and many types of products are produced in organic products.

Geographical Indication is a registration. We call the geographical indications that many standards according to the product, region, production type, season, taste and design are patented and registered by the relevant institutions in the world. So why do institutions apply to patent institutions to determine the Standard of this Geographical Indication? This is where the whole distinction we talked about comes into play. It is not enough to produce a product only in its region, to be produced by masters who know that job, or to produce organic products. Arranging and determining the Registration Document, which we can say that the Geographical Indication Specifications are written, is not such an easy process. Whether a product is local or not is investigated by institutions, universities and notables in that region. Afterwards, many products produced in that region are brought together, compared and passed through many tests. Finally, the standard of the most valuable product that is decided to really belong to that region begins to be written. Of course, these standards are presented to institutions and experts. The main problem is this: It is to register the best product, name, and standard that is really specific to that region and produced in that region. When this is done, that product will be registered as a product of that region all over the world.

For example; Let's take the Söke Bellows Boots. -The soles and sole are made of calf leather, the lining is made of goat leather, the sole and the heel are made of leather; It has to be produced in the form of a healthy footwear produced entirely by hand, adhering to the traditional production methods, which are "Baklava (Accordion) bellows" and "Flat bellows". This is just the first sentence of the introductory paragraph. In order to produce a genuine Söke Bellow boot, there is an obligation to fulfill dozens of conditions as written in this sentence. This applies to all products, from handicrafts to food and beverage products, from carpets to furniture. If it does not fulfill all of these standards, that product cannot get Geographical Indication Registration.

Geographical indications are registered as Origin name or Geographical Indication. Food, agriculture, mining, handicrafts, industrial products may be subject to geographical indication registration. The difference from each other is; Some products can be produced only in their region, if they meet the standards as they want, and some products can be produced if they meet the standards outside the region. These two types of registration are also included in the Registration of Geographical Indications. So what will happen if this registration is taken? That is the important question. We can say that this is the case that makes all the difference from other products. That product name cannot be used without obtaining a Geographical Indication. For example, you are producing İzmit Cotton Candy. If you do not produce according to the procedure in the Geographical Indication specification, you cannot say İzmit Cotton Candy. Because this name is registered and if you do not comply with the relevant production procedure, you cannot brand or use your products that you produce geographically marked products in this way. Likewise, as we cannot call Italian Roquefort cheese or Maraş Ice Cream. If you do not have a Geographical Indication, that product is not a real Malkara Old Cheddar Cheese. In order for it to be, you must comply with all the production procedures written in the Geographical Indication Registration, comply with all standards and always pass controls.

Well, you can naturally say what should be paid attention to. The reason is that these types of products are special, valuable, and some of them hide centuries-old production processes. People's demand is increasing day by day, and you get to know the region and culture more easily with these types of products. Think about it, you go to Russia and buy Matryoshka Baby, or you go to Italy and go to Roccaverano cheese, go to France and go to Roquefort Cheese and Wine ... If you go to Kahramanmaraş, you eat ice cream or if you go to Gaziantep, you will buy Baklava and Bünyan Carpet from Kayseri. The list goes on and on. Now think, can we open a shop in the Netherlands and sell Maraş Ice Cream as Amsterdam Ice Cream? If not registered, it can be sold. Just as Gaziantep Baklava, which has been produced for centuries, was presented to the world as Greek Baklava, if you do not have a Geographical Indication, someone can imitate it and write their own name on it. Another problem is that every baklava you eat is Gaziantep Baklava or not? In other words, someone produces baklava, can say Gaziantep Baklava. We can understand that it is really Gaziantep Baklava only from its Geographical Indication. In order to eliminate all these and similar problems, it is essential to obtain a Geographical Indications Registration and use registered products.

I tried to summarize a subject that needs to be explained a little longer as much as possible. I think you can make the distinction about organic, local or Geographical Indicated products much easier after this point. If we want to support our producers who present these local and cultural products to humanity and do more than visit and see those regions, we should definitely use, encourage and adopt Geographical Indications. Geographical Indicated Products are hand labor, eye care, gift of nature, taste of mouth. Above all, it is reliable and authentic. Wishing everyone to experience the Culture of Happiness with Geographical Indications first…


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