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Geographical indication training in Colombia

Colombian Logo for products protected

Colombian logo for products protected by a denomination of origin (Source: www.sic.gov.co/drupal/productos-con-denominacion-de-origen)

Tasting of products

Tasting of ‘Queso Paipa’ (protected by a denomination of origin since 2009) at the Queso Paipa Factory, Paipa, Colombia (Photo: Tobias Eisenring)

Discussion at the training workshop

A discussion at the training workshop on Geographical Indications and origin-based food and non-food products: opportunities for territorial development, enhancing identity and local anchorage, from 13-17 June 2016 in Paipa, Colombia (Photo: Iván Pinzón)

From 13 to 17 June 2016, 25 actors from the social, private and public sector met in Paipa, Colombia, for a 5-day training on Geographical Indications and origin-based food and non-food products.

The training was organized by FiBL and other partners working in the frame of the Colombian-Swiss Intellectual Property Project (COLIPRI), in collaboration with the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, Artesanías de Colombia and the Government of Boyacá Department. During the week, the participants learned and shared their experience on how geographical indications and origin-based products can contribute to territorial development and enhance regional identity and local anchorage.

Paipa provided for a perfect field study case of the traditional cheese "Queso Paipa" with an over hundred years old tradition and protected with a denomination of origin since 2009. Through this practical example, participants have discussed how the product is embedded in its territory and part of the local culture and how these parameters determine the quality of the product. The participants worked with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations methodology (see Link below). "This group of people, who worked for two days in our region, provided a very deep and practical analysis of our product. Their outside view has allowed us to better understand our strengths and weaknesses and move ahead our strategy to position this unique cheese", says Ms Fanny Esperanza Cárdenas from the Queso Paipa Factory (see Link below).

The training provided a platform for intense discussions on the concept of geographical indications and origin-based products. Special attention was given to the legal protection of such goods. "For me, the training was a real eye-opener! I saw how much work stands behind the files that arrive at my desk at the SIC. The development of the code of practice, describing the quality of the product, is a very complex process and the result of tough compromises among the actors" say Yazmin Jaime and María Mercedes Díaz. Both are lawyers in charge of registering geographical indications and orgin-based food and non-food products at the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce.

In addition to the five-day practical training, FiBL and the other partners organised a one-day seminar at the School of Law at the University of Los Andes in Bogotá for around 80 participants. This highlighted the complexity of geographical indications and origin-based agricultural products and the need to work in pluri-disciplinary teams. "In order to maintain and strengthen the richness and diversity of Colombian territories, it is important to invest in capacity building among both national institutions and development agents working in the field and implementing the concept on the ground", said Juan Francisco Ortega Díaz, director of the School’s Master’s programme on Intellectual Property.

The Colombian-Swiss Intellectual Property Project COLIPRI is financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) in collaboration with the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce and the Colombian Ministry of the Interior.

FiBL has been working in the field of geographical indications (Jamaica and Colombia) and origin-based agricultural product branding (Albania, Kosovo, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Ukraine) since 2008.

Further information


Tobias Eisenring



Co-organisers of the training June 13-17, 2016

Co-organisers of the seminar (20.06.16)

derecho.uniandes.edu.co: School of Law, the University of Los Andes