Ceylon Cinnamon receives Geographical Indication certification from EU

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The European Union (EU) handed over the Geographical Indication (GI) certification for Ceylon Cinnamon to the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) making it Sri Lanka’s first GI-certified product, the EDB announced.

The GI application was made by the EDB and supported by the EU under the EU-Sri Lanka Trade Related Assistance Project, and through technical assistance from United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC). This, together with support from other private and public stakeholders, has been instrumental in achieving Sri Lanka’s first GI certification, the EDB noted.

The EDB said that the Geographical Indication, which protects the name and trademark of a special product identified with a particular region and production practice, will differentiate Ceylon Cinnamon from other cinnamons of lower quality and provide a competitive advantage.

At the official ceremony to mark the certification hand over from the EU to the EDB, Ministry of Trade and Samurdhi Development, Shehan Semasinghe stated “Sri Lanka is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cinnamon, accounting for 90% of the global market share. In 2021, Sri Lanka earned around USD 230 million through Cinnamon exports. Although there are many varieties of Cinnamon, but still Ceylon Cinnamon is special due to its medicinal properties and health benefits. GI certification would differentiate Ceylon Cinnamon from other cinnamon of lower qualities, and this will have a positive impact on Sri Lankan Cinnamon exports.

EU Ambassador Denis Chaibi said: “GI is not only about linking a product to a place; it is about recognising the skill and achievement of the people who produce it. In the case of Ceylon Cinnamon, it is an endorsement of quality and an acknowledgement of the long tradition and rich history behind the production of this internationally renowned spice. 

“An enhanced competitive position for Ceylon Cinnamon in the EU market will increase exports for Sri Lanka, and bring higher income and more employment across the cinnamon value chain. I am happy that EU’s trade assistance has supported Sri Lanka’s efforts to obtain its first ever GI certification.”

The EU launched the “EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance” project in 2015 to increase trade and competitiveness of Sri Lankan SMEs in regional and EU markets. This EUR 8 million project, implemented by ITC and UNIDO, provided technical assistance to the national quality infrastructure, and the food, beverages, spices, and concentrates sectors. Through this project, the EDB was supported in its application process for Cinnamon GI registration.

By Rajiesh Seetharam