World-famous Longjing tea in east China's Zhejiang Province has recently been given birthplace protection to prevent the production of non-authentic products.
The birthplace protection system, an international custom, stipulates that only within a certain geographic area can brand products be manufactured.
Longjing tea, which has a history of over 1,000 years, originally grew in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province. Manufacturers from Anhui and other provinces as well as some countries have been using its brand name to make a profit, greatly damaging the brand's purity and the profits of producers in its birthplace.
Implementation of the system will protect up to 20,000 square km of the tea's birthplace.
Sources from the State Administration of Quality Supervision and Quarantine (SAQSQ) said the tea is the fourth brand name in China to get such protection. The other three are Shaoxing Huangjiu wine from Zhejiang, Xuanwei ham from Yunnan and Maotai spirits from Guizhou.
Deputy Director of SAQSQ Li Chuanqing said, "China's entry into WTO will help the birthplace protection system which will play an important role in protecting Chinese cultural legacy, improving product quality and increasing our competitive edge."
Li said the system is fairly new to China, but it has been practiced for hundreds of years in other countries. The European Union, for instance, has protected over 1,000 product brands.
(eastday.com November 19, 2001)