Konkan Alphonso, king of mangoes, gets GI tag

The Alphonso mango from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and adjoining areas of Konkan region in Maharashtra has finally got the Geographical Indication tag — an exclusive label used for products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or reputation that are due to that origin.

Called the king of mangoes, Alphonso—it is also known as Hapus in Maharashtra—is prized in the domestic and international markets for its taste, fragrance and vibrant colour. It has long been one of the world’s most popular fruits and is exported to various countries including Japan, Korea and Europe.

The first product to get a GI tag in India was Darjeeling tea in 2004. There are 325 products from India that carry this indication. Mahabaleshwar strawberry, blue pottery of Jaipur, Banarasi sarees, rosogolla of West Bengal, Madhubani paintings of Bihar, Mysore silk of Karnataka and Tirupati laddus are some products with GI tag.

There was a long drawn fight between organisations from Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri seeking separate GI tags for mangoes from their region, but in April, they decided to bury their differences and put up a joint application after the registry of GI, Mumbai, rejected individual applications filed by four producers of Alphonso mangoes in Konkan to patent their produce as Hapus. The petitioners were Dapoli university, Kokan Hapus Udpadak Sangh, Ratnagiri Hapus Udpadak Sangh, and Devgargh Hapus Udpadak Sangh.

After hearing the applications, the controller of patent, design, and trademark, Om Prakash Gupta, suggested that instead of GI tagging separate names, all mangoes from Konkan will get the ‘Hapus’ tag after the applicants submit a fresh application.

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