Champagne has broken ground in Cambodia, becoming the first-ever foreign product to be awarded Geographical Indication (GI) status in the southeast Asian country.
This lands a win for Champagne, a famous sparkling wine region in northern France. The unprecedented case will open up possibilities for other well-known wine appellations to seek GI protection in Cambodia, according to a report by Khmer Times.
Minister of Commerce in Cambodia, Pan Sorasak, at the awarding ceremony was quoted as saying , “We called on producers of other foreign GI products selling in Cambodia to follow suit and seek a certificate to protect their GI status as Cambodia is also a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.”
Champagne’s exports to Asia is expanding and is described by Comite Champagne, the region’s official trade org, as “one of the top performing continents” for Champagne in 2017.
Exports to the region was up 15.5% in volume and 19.2% in value in 2017, according to Comite Champagne.
With expanding middle class and growing personal disposable income in Cambodia, wine is becoming trendy and aspirational for growing middle class.
The country’s per capita alcohol consumption stands up 6.1 litre per year, according to WHO.
Rouse, an intellectual property agency acting for Champagne, is now also applying for GI for Cognac.
Fabrice Mattei, Principal at Rouse acting for Champagne and Cognac, commented: “We are thrilled by the news that Cambodia has granted GI protection to Champagne and we look forward to working with the Department of Intellectual Property of Cambodia (DIP) in registering Cognac”.
On May 7, Rouse filed another GI in Cambodia, Cognac, which, if granted, will be the second foreign GI for wine to obtain protection in that country.