China recognises Champagne geographical indication
China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has added Champagne to the GI registry
The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne had requested that the French winemaking region be placed on the registry. Champagne joins other European GIs that are recognised in China, including Comté cheese (France), Prosciutto di Parma ham (Italy) and West Country Farmhouse Cheddar (UK).
China and other Asian nations have been increasing their protections for geographical indications. Stephen Stern of Corrs Chambers Westgarth explained that while many Asian countries initially rejected European requests to protect GIs, European countries such as France were able to demonstrate how GIs can be used to cover and promote Asian products.
However, many countries around the world still do not have laws pertaining to GIs. Stern noted that “new world” countries such as the US and Australia do not have broad laws specifically addressing GIs, in part because these economies do not have as many historical and well-recognised regionally identified products. However, both countries do have piecemeal protections: Australia recognises GIs for wine though not other products, while the US has American Viticultural Areas that cover its own winemaking areas such as Napa.