Tuesday July 17, 2018

Tackle export market constraints, challenges

THE Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) has embarked on a series of consultations in a bid to straighten plans in setting up the island's collective trademark.

Minda, with this initiative, is taking the lead in introducing to the premium global market the country's first export products with a collective mark as part of its branding.

Minda Undersecretary Janet M. Lopoz, in an interview with Sun. Star Davao Wednesday at the sidelines of 1st Mindanao River Basin Organization (RBOs) Conference at Grand Regal Hotel in Davao City, said the Mindanao Collective Mark Core Group is presently in Cagayan De Oro City conducting consultation with the product manufacturers and producers.

The group is composed of representatives from Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, local government units and the private sector.

"We are doing the rounds now. Basically it will be staged in the key areas on the island," Lopoz said.

The consultations are expected to be completed before the year ends.
In the conduct of the Mindanao-wide consultations, the group has been tasked to identify the potential export markets, current constraints and challenges in the market, final procedure of the setting up of trademark, enabling policies, requirement needed to be complied by Mindanao’s products, considerations, constraints in setting the protocol for getting approval of our trademark and identification of the prioritized products for pilot testing.

"We will do pilot testing first, identify prioritize products, but definitely Cacao is in," Lopoz said.

The consultations are part of the protocol before setting up the process in labeling the products.

"Protocol meaning bago ka bigyan ng label daanan muna sa process, we do not just set up a process then impose on them, all their concerns has to be considered in setting up the trademark," she said.

She also mentioned that with the initial consultations, the European market emerged as one of the potential export markets of the islands products.

“EU market, especially now that we have a very favorable arrangement with them. EU market is a premium market so they look at more on the quality of the product, with this collective trademark, the EU market will have a sense of traceability to our products and they can guarantee that our products are of quality,” Lopoz said.

Lopoz shared that next step of the process of this initiative is to establish talks and agreement with the international market for the products with the collective marks to be recognized and for the Philippine market to comply with the needed requirements of the export markets.

A collective mark is a sign that distinguishes the geographical origin, material, mode of manufacture or other common characteristics of goods and services. For each collective mark, accompanying regulations that govern its use are set and promulgated. The same regulations also see as protection of the collective marks.

The mark will serve as a symbol that embodies four essential factors – scale, quality, delivery and traceability. It is a voluntary standard that is seen to strengthen the enterprises and industries of Mindanao by ensuring their compliance with the demands of the world market.