Cablegate: Request for Assistance: Research On Local Use Of

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Summary: A broad survey of Taipei retail groceries shows
that most products marked with the geographic indicators (GI)
listed in reftel are actually from the region implied by the
name. The biggest "offenders" in Taiwan are imported
cheeses. Taiwan's Intellectual Property Office has responded
to calls from the EU to enforce existing legislation to
protect GI. Taiwan also has its own geographic indicators
that could lead some policymakers to support the EU's
proposal to further restrict use of generic geographic
indicators. End Summary.

2. AIT/T Econ staff conducted an unscientific survey of six
retail grocery outlets in the Taipei area, ranging from the
up-scale (Jason's and City-Super) to the average (Wellcome
and SongQing), and including discount retailer Carrefour and
warehouse store COSTCO. One wine, a Bourgogne found in
Wellcome that was allegedly produced in the United States,
did not comply with expected GI. Our survey found that many
popular cheeses found in all stores except COSTCO used GIs
that were contrary to the true origin of the product. These
products included Feta from the U.S., Denmark and Australia,
Parmigiano Reggiano from the U.S. and New Zealand, Mozzarella
from the U.S., Australia, and Denmark, and Pecorino Romano
from the U.S. Our survey also found Prosciutto de Parma from
the U.S. and Australia, and Kalamata olives from Australia.

3. Taiwan has its own geographic indicators that Taiwan
producers actively use to promote their own products. Alishan
tea is famous in Taiwan and Mainland China and commands a
premium from tea drinkers. "Taiwan" is used to identify
everything from beer to vermicelli noodles. TIPO has in the
past been approached by EU representatives in Taiwan to
support increased protections for GI, most recently in the
2002 European Chamber of Commerce and Trade White Paper.
That document encouraged the Taiwan authorities to take
increased actions to enforce rules related to GI and age of
alcohols. This recommendation has not been repeated in
subsequent ECCT White papers.

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