EU hands over Sri Lanka’s first-ever GI certificate for Ceylon Cinnamon
Daily FT: Marking a milestone, the European Union has officially handed over Sri Lanka’s first-ever Geographical Indication (GI) certificate and status for Ceylon Cinnamon to the Export Development Board (EDB).
Sri Lanka’s quest for GI status for Ceylon Cinnamon was received from the EU Commission, following a painstaking, decade-long, arduous endeavour led by the EDB under the Ministry of Trade with the support of numerous public and private stakeholders.
The much-needed technical assistance from the UNIDO, delegation of the EU to Sri Lanka and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and certain financial assistance granted by the Common Fund for Commodities, based in the Netherlands were all part of the landmark accomplishment.
EU Ambassador Denis Chaibi said the landmark accomplishment of Sri Lanka receiving the GI status resembles the true potential of the country.
“Sri Lanka has all the fundamentals in place. With the GI status for Ceylon Cinnamon we must now try to build on it, to increase the export income and empower people engaged in the sector,” he added.
The Ambassador said the GI also preserves the country’s history and its people.
“Sri Lanka’s history is full and runs back to over 2,500 years. Ceylon Cinnamon is more valuable than you’ll think. We want to see how Sri Lanka could make something that everyone in the world wants using this incredible Ceylon Cinnamon,” he added.
He insisted that Sri Lanka should now work on its story or the brand which is based on the civilisation, beauty and its wealth.
“In the case of Ceylon Cinnamon, it is an endorsement of quality and an acknowledgement of the long tradition and rich history behind the production of this internationally renowned spice. It all depends now how we sell our Ceylon Cinnamon story to the world. In doing so Sri Lanka should focus on high social and Labour standards, civilisation, beauty, wealth, permanent contact with the EU – the second largest export market,” he said.
The Ambassador also expressed his overwhelming satisfaction of the EU in being part of this milestone.
Trade Minister Shehan Semasinghe said the enhanced competitive position of Ceylon Cinnamon in the EU market will have a positive impact in terms of an increase in exports from Sri Lanka, higher income and employment generation across the cinnamon value chain, benefiting about 30,000 stakeholders involved in cinnamon production and processing.
Sri Lanka is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cinnamon accounting for 90% of the global market share. Although there are many varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon is pure and considered superior due to its delicate taste and properties that contribute to many health benefits. Last year, Sri Lanka exported US$ 230 million.
EDB Chairman Suresh de Mel said the GI status for Ceylon Cinnamon came as a silver lining to the dark economic cloud Sri Lanka is faced with at present.
“GI status for Ceylon Cinnamon is a national breakthrough for our economy. It will give us competitive advantage for market differentiation and a better value proposition for our products. This competitive advantage in the EU market is a great opportunity for us to increase Sri Lanka’s exports and earn foreign exchange,” he added.
He also said it will benefit thousands of livelihoods in rural agricultural communities that are engaged in Ceylon Cinnamon production and processes.
Ceylon Cinnamon is one of Sri Lanka’s major export commodities that earn millions in foreign exchange. The many trade agreements and trade concessions enjoyed by the country have also helped boost Sri Lanka’s exports. The country’s export sector authorities are also I the process of exploring new markets for Ceylon Cinnamon. Given the growing business potential in Sri Lanka’s exports, especially cinnamon exports, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the increasing opportunities in the local cinnamon industry. They could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses in the cinnamon industry to expand the business.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/03052022/Z_2|