The Swiss Government (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO) is supporting an assessment for developing a Carpathian trademark in the Ukraine. Such a geographically referenced trademark appears especially promising from a development perspective, as it is likely to boost rural development in various ways including development and improvement of products and services produced in the Ukrainian Carpathians—thus enhancing the competitiveness and incomes of this region. Other ways a trademark could boost rural development include the establishment and improvement of cross-functional collaboration among stakeholders, the involvement of private and public actors within agriculture and tourism, and the creation of an efficient branding tool to position and promote the Ukrainian Carpathians better within and outside the country.
In August 2011, SECO mandated the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL to conduct a stakeholder assessment to measure the impact potential and clarify the concept with regard to the structure and implementation of a possible Carpathian trademark. The assessment will last 4 months and shall set in place a private-public stakeholder platform to coordinate and implement possible future activities and provide initial awareness about the potential impact of a Carpathian trademark.
The baseline for such a concept relates to the fact that the Carpathians represent highly interesting values for rural and urban consumers with a higher standard of living, who tend to associate the Carpathians with “untouched nature,” “healthy environment,” and “genuine tradition & culture.” These attributes are a strong selling point for the exports as well. These values would be capitalized on through a Carpathian trademark concept.
FiBL’s activities in Ukraine are not new. In fact, since 2004 FiBL also implemented the technical cooperation project Organic Certification and Market Development in Ukraine, also funded by the Swiss Government (SECO). The project goal is to contribute to the growth of the Ukrainian organic sector and to its integration in world trade.
Contact at FiBL: Tobias Eisenring