Sri Lanka is the leading exporter of true cinnamon to the world and holds 80% of the world market share for true cinnamon. Exporters of Ceylon Cinnamon to the world market, especially the European Union and North American markets, have to face with the competition arises from cheaper substitute namely cassia and hence necessity has been arisen to differentiate true cinnamon from cassia.
The Government of Sri Lanka by a cabinet decision dated 17 February 2009 has granted authority for the Sri Lanka Export Development Board to hold the ownership/custodianship of the name ‘Pure Ceylon Cinnamon’ (PCC) along with other associate names ‘Ceylon Cinnamon,’ ‘Sri Lanka Cinnamon’ and ‘Sri Lanka Kurundu’ on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka and to take appropriate/connected measures to protect and promote Ceylon Cinnamon.
As the first step Pure Ceylon Cinnamon certification mark was registered with National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) in Sri Lanka under the prevailing laws. PCC Certification Mark Registration has been completed in selected competitive markets such as EU, USA, Colombia and Peru and registration in Mexico, Netherlands and Australia is in the process
The Cabinet has also granted approval for the EDB to take appropriate action in consultation with the stakeholders to obtain GI for Ceylon Cinnamon which is indigenous to Sri Lanka to protect and promote the characteristics of true cinnamon such as flavour and aroma associated with Geographical Indication (GI).
EDB worked with the Spice Council, Spices and Allied Product Traders Association (SAPTA), National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) and the Department of Export Agriculture to register Ceylon Cinnamon as a GI product within Sri Lanka as well as in the European Union.
The bill submitted to the Parliament recently to amend the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003 to register GIs in respect of any goods or products in Sri Lanka has been passed by the Parliament. The National Intellectual Property office will take action to open a GI Registry and Register Ceylon Cinnamon and Ceylon Tea as First GI products in Sri Lanka. This is a great achievement by the all stakeholders who worked hand in hand with EDB to see the Ceylon Cinnamon registered as the First GI in Sri Lanka.
EDB is working towards to obtain the GI status for Ceylon Cinnamon in the European Union and the application has already been submitted to the EU commission.Source at: www.ft.lk