What Do Argan Oil and Champagne Have in Common?

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In April 2009, argan oil was granted status as a Protected Geographical Indication, a designation used to certify that products have a specific geographical origin such as champagne, Asiago cheese, and Scotch whisky.In addition to guaranteeing origin, GIs also imply a certain level of quality of a product.Although many countries in Europe have Geological Indications, lesser-developed countries benefit greatly from this designation, as GIs permit countries to hold “light” monopolies on their products.GI status also preserves tradition and national identity, as it represents a collective right (as opposed to an individual right such as patents and trademarks) and fosters job development within the country.GI status of argan oil also guarantees that the benefits the argan cooperatives provide for the women and children of the region will continue on for future generations.

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