Considering that Ecuador is a megadiverse country by nature and the cultural diversity, present in the different regions, allows it to identify products that can be protected under this umbrella of “Intellectual Property“. As a mechanism of development for the different localities and/or communities. It is the case of the Ecuadorian Panama Hat. The fine Montecristi Panama hats, and it´s denomination of origin.
Ecuadorian identity in own products
Have you heard about the PDO ( Protected Denomination of origin? or in Spanish DOP (Denominacion de Origen Protegida).
What country in the world do you think about when the word Tequila, Mozzarella or Champagne is mentioned?
Denominations of origin is a type of distinctive sign of great importance because it identifies a country, a region or a specific place, where natural and human factors converge in the processes of production. Processing and/or extraction of a particular product. That is, it´s basic characteristic.
Or said in other words, DO are special products whose quality, reputation or other characteristics are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment in which it is produced.
What are the appellations of origin?
A development mechanism and an opportunity for a country to promote one or more of its own products are the appellations of origin. There may be many tequila producers in the world, but the tequila is Mexican.
Peruvians can claim ownership on the pisco, grape liqueur, typical of the Andean valley of the same name. The same goes for the champagne, which is French, from the Champagne area.
The fine “ Toquilla ” straw hats, commonly and wrongly known as “Panama Hat“, are actually hats made in Montecristi, a town in the Province of Manabí-Ecuador. Our first denomination of origin has claimed its identity and is now protected and by the Ecuadorian Government.
There are currently three Protected Denominations of Origin which are:
” Sombrero de Montecristi” which refers to the Toquilla straw hats from the Montecristi canton.
“Cacao Arriba” that protects the dry and fermented almond of the National type cacao or varieties of the National Complex also know as the Arriba cocoa beans.
“Galapagos Coffee” protection granted to parchment / gold / roasted / ground coffee.
The IEPI ( Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property) is doing an important job, which together with producers and/or farmers is in the process of socializing the importance of protecting the different appellations of origin and the benefit they bring to the family, local, regional and national economy.
An aspiration of Ecuador, IEPI and its direction of Plant Varieties are to ensure that when the words “Sombrero Montecristi” or simply “Montecristi” are mentioned, identify the place of origin that is Ecuador.
What’s the purpose?
The whole purpose is to “protect the reputation of regional foods, promote rural and agricultural activity help producers obtain a premium price for their authentic products, and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of lower quality or a different flavor”, according to Wikipedia.
Other Susceptible Products of Origin Denomination
- Zaruma’s Coffee
- Loja´s Coffee