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First GI Tag Product in India

India's first GI Tag was awarded to Darjeeling tea in 2004, known for its aromatic leaves and unique flavor.

India, a land of diverse cultures and traditions, is also a treasure trove of unique products that reflect its rich heritage. One way to protect and promote these unique products is through Geographical Indications (GI). The concept of GI tags gained prominence in India with the enactment of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, which came into effect in 2003. The first product to receive a GI tag in India was Darjeeling Tea, marking a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to preserve its traditional products.

Understanding GI Tag

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to understand what a GI Tag is. A Geographical Indication (GI) Tag is used for products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In India, over 400 products have received GI Tags.

The First GI Tag in India

India’s journey with GI Tags began with Darjeeling tea. Known for its aromatic leaves and unique flavor, Darjeeling tea was the first product to receive a GI Tag in India. This milestone was achieved in 2004.

The Significance of Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea is renowned globally for its distinct taste and quality, which are attributed to the unique geographical conditions of the Darjeeling region. The GI Tag has helped protect its reputation and ensured that only tea produced in this region can be labeled as Darjeeling tea.


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Subsequent GI Tag Recipients

Following the first GI Tag, many other products across India have been recognized. These include Mahabaleshwar strawberries, Jaipur blue pottery, Banaras saris, Lucknow mangoes, and Prayagraj guavas.

The GI Tagging Process

The process of GI Tagging in India began after the enactment of a law in 1999. The procedures started in 2003, leading to the first GI Tag being awarded in 2004. The Indian Geographical Registry, located in Chennai, is responsible for granting these tags. Each GI Tag is valid for 10 years and must be renewed thereafter.


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