India is a land of rich culinary heritage, with a wide variety of dishes and ingredients from different regions. In recent years, the government has taken steps to protect this culinary heritage by registering products with Geographical Indication (GI) tags.
Geographical Indication is a form of intellectual property protection that identifies a product as originating from a specific geographical region and possessing certain qualities, characteristics, or reputation attributable to that origin.
When a food product receives a GI tag, it signifies that the unique qualities or attributes of the product are closely linked to the geographical region, saving the reputation of the Origin, in which it is produced. The (GI) tag helps in recognizing and promoting the distinctiveness and traditional knowledge associated with a particular food item
The GI tag helps to protect these products from imitation and ensures that consumers get the genuine article.
There are currently over 430 GI-tagged products in India, including a wide range of food items. Some of the most popular GI-tagged foods in India include.
This tea is grown in the Darjeeling hills of West Bengal and is known for its delicate flavor and aroma
Monsooned Malabar Coffee:
This coffee is grown in the Western Ghats of Kerala and is known for its unique flavor, which is said to be due to the monsoon rains.
This is a crispy noodle snack made from gram flour. It is a popular snack in the state of Madhya Pradesh
This is a thick stew made from meat, lentils, and spices. It is a popular dish during the month of Ramadan.
The GI tag has helped to boost the sales of these products and has also helped to raise awareness of their unique qualities. It has also helped to protect these products from imitation, which can be a major problem for small producers.
The (GI) tag is an important tool for protecting India’s culinary heritage. It helps to ensure that consumers get the genuine article and that small producers are able to benefit from the sale of their products.
Benefits of (GI – Tagged Food)
- Guarantee of authenticity: (GI) tagged food products are guaranteed to be authentic and of the highest quality. This is because the (GI) tag is only given to products that meet strict quality standards.
- Protection from imitation: The (GI) tag helps to protect GI-tagged food products from imitation. This is because it is illegal to use the GI tag on products that are not genuine.
- Promotes fair trade: The (GI) tag helps to promote fair trade by ensuring that small producers receive a fair price for their products. This is because the GI tag makes it easier for consumers to identify genuine products and to avoid counterfeits.
- Increased awareness: The (GI) tag helps to increase awareness of India’s culinary heritage. This is because it draws attention to the unique qualities of GI-tagged food products
- Helps Local Communities : Helps Communities involved in producing particular product
How to Use (GI) Tag to Create a Food Business
- Identify a GI-tagged product that you are interested in. There are over 430 GI-tagged products in India, hence there should have no trouble finding one that find your interest.
- Research the product and its market. Once you have identified a GI-tagged product, you need to research it and its market. This includes understanding the product’s history, production process, and unique qualities. One should also research the demand for the product and the competition in the market.
- Develop a business plan. Once gathered a good understanding of the product and its market, one needs to develop a business plan. .
- Obtain the necessary licenses and approvals. Depending on the product and the state in which you are operating, you may need to obtain certain licenses and approvals. You should contact your local government office to find out more information.
- Market and sell your product. Once you have all of the necessary approvals, you can start marketing and selling your product. You should use a variety of marketing channels, such as online and offline advertising, to reach your target market
- Highlight the unique qualities of the product. The (GI) tag is a guarantee of authenticity, but it is also a way to highlight the unique qualities of the product. Make sure to emphasize these qualities in your marketing materials.
- Build relationships with local producers. If you are not a producer yourself, you will need to build relationships with local producers. This will ensure that you have a steady supply of high-quality product.
- Help & Grow the Local Community : Helping Local Communities which is associated with the product and grow them becoming Financially Stronger should be always on the Top of the Priority.
- Tourism and Hospitality Collaboration: GI tagged foods often have a strong connection to the local culture and heritage. Collaborating with tourism boards, hotels, restaurants, or travel agencies can help in promoting and incorporating your GI tagged food product into tourism and hospitality experiences. This can lead to increased visibility and demand for your product.
- Product Diversification: Once you have successfully established a food business based on a GI tagged product, you can consider diversifying your product line. You can introduce new variations or derivatives of the GI tagged food, creating a range of offerings that cater to different consumer preferences and expanding your business further
Some Examples of Food Businesses Promoting and Capitalizing on GI Tagged Food:
- Haldiram’s: Haldiram’s is a popular Indian snack brand that uses a number of GI-tagged products, including Khaja, Gulab Jamun, and Rasmalai.
- Brij Mishthan Bhandar: Brij Mishthan Bhandar is a popular Agra-based brand that specializes in Agra Petha. They offer a wide variety of Agra Petha products, including cubes, rolls, barfi, and sweets
- Pista House: Pista House is a popular Hyderabadi haleem restaurant chain that has outlets all over India. They are known for their authentic haleem, which is made using traditional recipes and ingredients.