Premium Thai rice gets ‘geographical indication’ seal

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BANGKOK, March 5 – Thailand is applying a geographical indication (GI) designation for its premium ‘sung yod’ rice from the southern province of Phatthalung, the director general of the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) said today.

IPD chief Pajchima Tanasanti said ‘sung yod’ rice is very nutritious and suitable for consumers with diabetes, adding that the European Union (EU) yesterday approved GI registration for ‘Hom Mali’ (jasmine, or fragrant) rice from Thung Kula Rong Hai in Thailand’s Northeast.

A product stamped with the EU-endorsed “Protected Geographical Indication’ seal is highly accepted worldwide for its premium quality.

Ms Pajchima said Thailand has been urged to register its Hom Mali rice in China since the high-quality grain is a favourite among Chinese consumers.

Hom Mali rice is grown in Thailand’s vast Thung Kula Rong Hai plateau which covers the five northeastern provinces of Roi Et, Surin, Maha Sarakham, Si Sa Ket and Yasothorn.

Thailand also plans to seek GI registration for its northeastern silk with Vietnam and penetration into the EU market in the future, she said.

Ms Pajchima said the Thai Senate will postpone legislation on odour and sound trademarks until 2015 – a decision which will affect Thai inventors of odour and sound who must wait for two more years.