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BANGKOK, Jan 26 – Thailand will continue its application to register with the European Union (EU) Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) after five EU member countries opposed its application for Thai Hom Mali rice submitted last year, according to the Thai Department of Intellectual Property.
Intellectual Property Director-General Patchima Thanasanti on Wednesday said that Thailand applied for PGI registration, becoming the Asia nation to enter the European process.
Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium opposed Thailand’s bid for PGI registration of “Khao Hom Mali Thung Kula Rong-Hai”, commonly known as jasmine rice, saying “Hom Mali or jasmine rice” is also grown in other countries, but they asked that Thailand should register only the name “Kula Rong-Hai.”
Khao Hom Mali Thung Kula Rong-Hai is the Thai rice produced in the Thung Kula Rong-Hai area, covering Thailand’s five core northeastern provinces including Roi Et, Mahasarakam, Surin, Yasothon and Si Sa Ket.
Ms Patchama said the department will reapply using the full name to the EU, based on the fact that “Hom Mali” is in the Thai language and in Thailand, Thung Kula Rong-hai is not the specific name of jasmine rice, so the whole phase “Hom Mali Thung Kula Rong-Hai” must be kept as the full name for the PGI registration to signify this kind of rice product clearly.
Hom Mali Thung Kula Rong-Hai’s certification mark approved by more than 50 countries will be demonstrated to the EU to confirm that Thailand has used this name for a long time, she said.
The department will hire an international lawyer to fight for the reapplication of the PGI registration and will seek cooperation from the embassies of the five EU member countries in
Thailand to support the registration of Hom Mali Thong Kula Rong-Hai rice.
Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot will clarify the issue during his visit to the EU countries in March and will invite representatives from the five opposing countries to listen to his explanation.
If Thailand succeeds in registering PGI, the logo will be labelled on rice packages, which can be sold at higher prices, she added