Dec 04, 2016 News
It seems that consultants and lobbyists are pushing the Guyana Government and taxpayers into a no-win situation especially since it has already been decided that Demerara is a type of sugar and not a place or origin of a sugar, so any money being spent to register that Demerara is a GI in Canada and USA will be money wasted.
It has already been decided in the courts and it seems that the lobbyist is only trying to suck money out of the government as he should know or ought to know that Demerara sugar is a type of sugar and not a place of origin for a sugar.
It is also proven in Canada that Demerara is a type of rum and not origin of rum. Demerara Distillers has already lost that court battle in the trademark office. Therefore, if the lobbyists think they can get the GI for rum it was already heard in the Canadian Trademark Tribunal.
To get a successful GI it first has to be registered in the country of origin for products that originated in that region. So to get a GI for Demerara sugar, the sugar must only be produced in the Demerara region. Any sugar not produced in the Demerara region cannot be now called Demerara. What do you call the product that is produce e.g. at Skeldon plant?
This would be one step forward two steps backwards for Guyana while they would get to call their sugar Demerara that is produced in Demerara region but products produced in other regions can no longer be called Demerara and would have to be called some other type of sugar.
As mentioned in the article, Guyana does not have to register the word Demerara Guyana to be given the status of GI. That is only half of the GI indication scheme. Guyana must now try and register Demerara as a GI in Canada, USA and the EU. It would be very difficult for Guyana to succeed in these markets because Demerara is now and has always been known as a type of sugar and not an indication origin of sugar.
Even if they tried to register Demerara as a GI they would face opposition from a host of importers in Canada and USA who are already using Demerara as a type of sugar for their brand of sugar. It is very unlikely that Guyana will win at the opposition stage as there has been too much evidence already before in the court and Trademark offices proving that the Demerara is a type of sugar and not an origin of a sugar.
Even if by some chance Guyana should succeed in getting a GI in Canada or USA, other importers from other ‘Origins’ can just put “Demerara sugar from Mauritius” on the label or “Demerara style sugar”. They would not be prevented from using the word Demerara for a type of sugar.
Demerara has now become like Edam and Gouda in the cheese market, even though those cheeses originated in small towns in Holland they are now made all over the world and accepted and sold in United States as a type of cheese and not an origin of cheese.
It is highly unlikely that Guyana can succeed in registering a GI in Canada and USA. Guyana can Market its own brand of Demerara sugar with a GI on it but what does that really mean?
Even if they say it is genuine Demerara sugar it does not mean anything; one can also say that our sugar produced in Mauritius, Colombia, Paraguay, India, Australia, and USA is also genuine Demerara sugar because the process of manufacturing is the genuine Demerara process and not the origin.
I think Guyana is failing to realize that Demerara is a type of sugar not a brand of sugar and not an origin of sugar. That horse left the barn over 100 years ago. There is also a Supreme Court ruling in Canada confirming that fact.
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