Wugong Mountain Grouper added to China’s Geographical Indicator list

Published on
March 19, 2019

The Wugong Mountain Grouper has been listed on China’s Geographical Indicator list, making the use of that name protected and limited to producers in the Wugong region. 

The list is designed to elevate food products with particular characteristics considered unique to China. With the move, China is boosting a niche rural fishery, as the GI list is highly valued by seafood producers in China seeking to cash in on rising incomes and growing demand for seafood in the country. A relative absence of brands in the industry makes it even more sought after by. 

The Wugong Mountain grouper is the second species from Jiangxi – a mountainous province south of Shanghai – to make the geographical indicator list, which is maintained by the Chinese Agriculture Ministry. The other is the Pingxian red carp, which made the list in 2018.

Particular cooking styles for seafood were also among the seafood products to make the 2019 GI list. The method for cooking Huai Wang fish – a specialty in Anhui Province, another largely agricultural province – also made the list. 

The additions have international implications, given the scale of the Chinese market. A group of European Union countries, including Greece and Italy, recently took a case in Beijing courts against the use by Chinese companies of 25 trademark names like “feta” in Chinese. The E.U. nations are disputing the use of names that are homonymous with E.U. geographical indications. Spanish olive oil firms have had similar complaints over Chinese edible oil importers and distributors using their terminology, which protected by law in Europe under the E.U.’s own Geographical Indications list.

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