By: Angga Priancha
Table of Contents
The invitation to love domestic products is not foreign to be heard in Indonesia. The latest example is the president’s signing of Presidential Decree No. 15 of 2021 regarding the Proud National Movement Team Made in Indonesia on September 8, 2021. Previously, on Thursday 4 March, the President also made a speech to love domestic products at a working meeting of the ministry of trade. This kind of invitation generally aims to improve the performance of selling products made in Indonesia and for the welfare of local entrepreneurs.
When we talk about a love for a product, maybe the “product” that comes to our mind is the product of Indonesian brands such as Kopiko or Gojek. However, we may not know that buying products from Indonesian brands does not guarantee that what we buy are products that are actually made in Indonesia.
This is because according to Article 1 Point 1 of Law no. 20 of 2016 concerning Marks and Geographical Indications (Mark and GI Law), a mark is only a distinguishing power of goods and services that are used to distinguish goods and services from one another. Conceptually, a trademark does not provide an indication of where the goods are actually made. Even if they are criticized from the legal aspect of trademarks, these Indonesian marks can be easily transferred to foreign parties.
This opens the possibility that we will buy a product that looks “Indonesian” but is not actually produced in Indonesia or even owned by a foreigner. Then, how can we love Indonesian products that are actually produced in Indonesia?
Geographical Indication Products may be a good option to answer this anxiety. A geographical indication is a branch of Intellectual Property Rights that protects products that can only be produced in certain geographic locations. This means all products that are protected by Geographical Indications will always be tied to their place of origin, in this case, Indonesia.
Geographical Indication (GI)?
We may already be familiar with the quality and characteristics of Italian Mozzarella cheese, French Roquefort cheese, and Swiss Watches. However, we may be unfamiliar that these products are the product of a geographic indication.
According to Law No. 20 of 2016 concerning Marks and Geographical Indications, Geographical Indications are a sign given to a product to indicate the area of origin of the object. The mark is given due to geographical environmental factors that affect the reputation, quality, and characteristics of the commodities produced. Geographical environmental factors can consist of natural and human factors or a combination of both.
For example, Roquefort Cheese can only be produced in the Roquefort-Sur-Soulzon area of France because its manufacture involves the bacterium Penicillium roqueforti which is only found in caves in that area (Natural Factors). Likewise, Swiss watches (swiss watches) are made with certain watch techniques that have been developed for generations only by watchmakers in Switzerland (Human Factor).
This means that only products that meet certain qualifications can be given the IG mark and be named “Roquefort Cheese” or “Swiss Watch.” This is because the quality and characteristics of these products depend on geographical factors.
Economic Potential of Geographical Indications
If you look at the European Union, the value of the European IG industry has reached 75 billion Euros and has been dubbed the “European Treasure.” This means that a lot of the money generated will return to the area where it was created and then potentially be used for the development of the area.
The high value of GI in the European Union is also supported by good branding so that many European GIs have become country icons and are known for their quality globally, such as mozzarella cheese, or Swiss Watch. This means there will be global consumers who love and repurchase the IG products they produce.
In Indonesia alone, there are 92 GI products (both Indonesian and international) registered with the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DJKI) of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Per-September 2021). Unlike Europe, where the majority of GIs are cheese and alcoholic beverages, Indonesia’s GI is filled with coffee, rice, and regional specialty handicrafts.
In its development, many of Indonesia’s IG coffee products became famous in the international realm. An example is Gayo Arabica coffee which has an export value of 58.9 million USD. Not only coffee, Indonesia’s IG opportunities can also be seen in the arts of handicrafts. (Ranggalawe, 2020) states that the export value of Jepara wood carving crafts also has a large export value, reaching USD 111 million which is exported to 68 countries in the world.
This illustrates that many of the quality Indonesian products are recognized by the world trade community, and this does not include many other Indonesian products that have not been registered as GIs. Knowing this, we should be more aware of the economic potential of Indonesian Geographical Indication products. There is a high possibility that in the future Indonesia’s Geographical Indications will become an “Indonesian Treasure” as has happened in the European Union.
Geographical Indications as Supporters of the Proud Movement Made in Indonesia
In the context of supporting products that really come from Indonesia, love for IG products has advantages over people who only love a domestic brand. This advantage is a guarantee that the product is truly an Indonesian product.
Referring to article 41 of the Trademark and GI Law, Mark Rights are material rights that are easily transferred or sold to other parties. This means a brand from Indonesia that has been loved and known by the public can easily change hands to foreign parties. But that can’t happen to IG.
GI protection is only given to a product that is attached to a certain geographical location of Indonesia. This means that at any time the GI products will provide benefits to the regions and residents who produce them.
Even in terms of branding, IG product associations in their geographical location of origin provide their own story to be loved with the right branding efforts. As an analogy, a fictional character that has good character development will attract the audience to sympathize with the character and then like it. In this case, with its close ties to its geographical location, IG products indirectly have unique story materials that can be packaged as brand identity.
This is because IG already has a “back-story” that has the potential to be developed to be “relative” to consumers. This is also in line with the direction of the government’s vision regarding the marketing of Indonesian-made goods as reflected in President Jokowi’s speech last March, which stated: “Branding must be attached so that people love Indonesian products more than foreign products.”
Supporting Indonesian Made Goods With Indonesian Geographical Indications
The president’s call to support Indonesian-made goods actually has a meaning to build the domestic economy. Therefore, let’s look at how to love Indonesian products that can provide real empowerment for the national creative economy.
In this case, recognizing, loving, and buying Indonesian geographic indication products can be an option to take one step closer to the goal of supporting Indonesian-made products. This is because legally, geographic indication products provide clarity that the product has a close relationship with a geographical location in Indonesia.
This opinion article was written by Angga Priancha, Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia and Researcher at the Institute for Legal Studies and Technology, Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia (LKHT FHUI). This article is the author’s personal opinion and does not represent the views of the editors of Yuris Muda Indonesia.