Protection of agricultural products

Members of the public have less than a month to submit comments to government regarding the protection of agricultural products with geographical indicators.

According to a statement, minister of trade and industry Rob Davies said, “South Africa is currently negotiating a protocol with the EU for the protection of various names which will allow for the reciprocal protection of names of South African and European agricultural products, wines and spirits in the respective territories.

“Various South African names are now protected under the Merchandise Marks Act 17 of 1941, including Rooibos and Honeybush, while Karoo Lamb has been published for public comment,” said Davies.

In November last year, the Karoo Development Foundation Trust requested that the name ‘Karoo Lamb’ only be used for lamb produced and slaughtered in the Karoo region. Compliance with these and other rules will enable the product to carry the ‘Certified Karoo Meat of Origin’ mark. This ensures products maintain their exclusivity and producers can get a premium.

Closing date for submissions is 5 March 2014.

To submit comments or objections in respect of the proposed list of names to be protected, send an email to the Registrar of Trademarks at [email protected]

Visit the dti website for more information.