Thai GI-certified products could bring in $1 billion

Sales of Thai products protected by Geographical Indication (GI) certification could increase revenues by $1 billion in the next few years, according to Thailand’s Intellectual Property Department, with food products making up the majority of those certified.

Among those food products are fruits particular to Thailand, and despite a weak global economy and the coronavirus pandemic, demand for Thai fruits in foreign markets remains strong. It is actually growing, according to an industry group.

“We expect China’s demand for Thai fruit is unlikely to fall from last year’s figures. Higher consumption is anticipated, as Chinese people are not traveling abroad with the outbreak,” said Paiboon Wongchotesathit, President of Thai Fresh Fruit Traders & Exporters Association.

Paiboon and his association expect exports of Thai fruits to increase by 10 percent this year. Last year, fruit exports were valued at over $3.5 billion.

Certain varieties of durian, mango, and other fruits are indigenous to Thailand, and the Intellectual Property Department wants them all certified under the GI protocols. Doing so would give them an advantage over competitors. For instance, some neighbors of Thailand have begun growing and exporting the Thai variety of durian.

“GI is used to indicate products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to the origin,” the Department said.

Benefits of GI certification include consumer confidence in the products, adherence to high standards and quality, preservation of local wisdom, and support for communities, according to the Department.

Today, 75 of 77 Thai provinces have registered have won GI certification for products. The Department wants every province to have GI certified products and more of them.

Should the trend towards certification continue, then the Department believes that the value of GI certified products from Thailand will top $1 billion by 2024.

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