Goa- sun and fun! And what’s fun without some Feni!! This liquor distilled from cashew apple has been traditionally considered a poor man’s drink from its native Goa. However, in an effort to seek out new markets, the officials here have decided to fo the GI way.
This is being led by the Warwick University’s principal investigator Dwijen Rangnekar who leads a project on Localising Economic Control through GIs. He explains: “As evident from products like champagne, Scotch whiskey and tequila, GIs focus on the triple relationship between a product, its special qualities and the geographical territory of origin.”
Adulterers of the beverage along with large scale industrial producers have led to a deterioration of standards. With a GI, from preserving local know-how to promoting rural development, Feni is hopes to see a couple of positive results for the local industry. As widely known, the WIPO swears by the recognition that customers denote when they understand the true origin and quality by customers..
However, Feni’s humble beginnings is also perhaps its greatest drawback. Classified as “country liquor” by the official Excise authorities, Feni cannot be legally exported to other states of India which curbs growth. Therefore, while a GI may help preserve all aspects as promised, inherent regulation that has classified the beverage may prove a hurdle in settingput what a GI for this product has set out to do.
Perhaps then, celebrations may be premature and this GI is an early toast for Feni enthusiasts. Here’s hoping this GI beverage sees the light of day, the right way.