The certification goes into effect on November 1.
“After the EU certifies Sung Yod rice, it will add value to the product in the EU and world markets. Thai farmers and traders will enjoy higher income and a good reputation for this speciality rice grain,” Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said yesterday.
This is the fourth Thai product to win GI recognition from the EU. Hom Mali Thung Kula Ronghai jasmine rice was certified three years ago, and Doi Chang and Doi Tung coffee were recognised last year.
The decision was published in the official journal of the European Union on Wednesday.
As of next month, Thai rice exporters will be able to put the GI logo on Sung Yod rice bags for shipment to the EU market.
A Geographical Indication is a name or sign used on certain products that corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin, such as a town, province, region or country.
Such certification may indicate that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods or enjoys a certain reputation due to its geographical origin.
Sung Yod rice is grown only in Phatthalung province near Ban Tad Mountain and Songkhla Lake. It has a distinctive reddish colour and high nutritional value.
Thailand itself granted Sung Yod rice GI certification 10 years ago, on March 14, 2006. Before getting the GI certification, its retail price was Bt50 per kilogram, but after gaining the certification it began retailing for Bt80-Bt90 per kilo.
A total of 7,703 tonnes of Sung Yod rice was produced last year.
Sung Yod rice is exported to many countries including China, Singapore, India and Malaysia. After winning the EU certification, it should be able to find markets in Europe such the Netherlands, France and Italy. Apiradi said that after receiving GI certification from the EU for four products, the Intellectual Property Department would seek similar accreditation for other products.