REAFFIRMING the European Union’s (EU) commitment to promote and expand domestic and international markets for Mindanao products, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen will grace the launch of the Mindanao Collective Trademark (MCT), a system designed to enhance the competitiveness of products originating from Mindanao.
The MCT launch, slated June 21 at the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Davao City, will officially unveil the MCT logo that will become the distinct mark of quality products coming from Mindanao.
Ambassador Jessen is expected to keynote the event that will gather key government officials, top business players, chief local executives and private sector representatives from across the region.
“The participation of the ambassador during MCT launch sends a strong signal of EU’s interest to enhance trading with the Philippines, giving particular attention to high-quality products from Mindanao,” said Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda).
She added that EU-Philippines through its Trade Related Technical Assistance Project 3 (TRTA3) supported MinDA in the development of the trademark in line with its efforts to contribute to the country’s integration into the international and regional trading and investment system.
Minda is the lead agency in the implementation of the MCT system, as part of its mandate to increase trade and investments and boost the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Mindanao.
“Once fully utilized, the MCT will give Mindanao agri-products a certain distinction in the global market where standards on good agricultural practices, organic farming, single origin, are given premium consideration among discerning buyers,” Antonino added.
The MCT is a collective trademark that will function as a certification trademark.
Certification trademarks are owned by an organization who would allow for its use by companies that comply with the rules and standards defined by the owner of that particular certification mark. A collective trademark, on the other hand, is used by particular members of the organization that owns it.
In the case of the MCT, it aims to improve the competitiveness of the products originating from the island-region through alignment with internationally recognized Voluntary Standards (VS) which guarantee sound management practices, traceability, and sustainability.
“In the global markets, where commodities converge and compete, there is a growing preference among buyers for information on their sources,” said Antonino, adding: “Aside from scale, quality, and delivery, consumers also want to know the origin of the products that they are buying.”
The introduction of the MCT system strategically fits into the Mindanao agri development agenda put forward by the economic agenda of incoming administration.