Why in news:

  • Recently, the Goa cashew (kernel) has successfully secured the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

What is a GI tag?

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.
  • In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin.
  • Since the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production.

What rights does a GI tag provide?

  • A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards.
  • However, a protected geographical indication does not enable the holder to prevent someone from making a product using the same techniques as those set out in the standards for that indication.
  • Protection for a geographical indication is usually obtained by acquiring a right over the sign that constitutes the indication.

What does the GI tag mean for the cashew industry in Goa?

  • Cashew manufacturers and processors in Goa said they hoped the GI tag would help consumers differentiate between authentic Goan cashews and cashews sourced from outside the state, which are often marketed as ‘Goan cashews’.
  • The application for the GI tag for the Goan cashew — derived from the Portuguese name ‘caju’ or ‘kaju’ in Konkani — was filed by the Goa Cashew Manufacturers’ Association (GCMA).

Syllabus: Prelims