The success story of GI labels in the OAPI region: Benin’s sugarloaf pineapple
The sugarloaf pineapple from the Allada plateau in southern Benin, ” Ananas Pain de Sucre ” with its very juicy and sweet white flesh and the particularity of remaining green when fully ripe, has just obtained its Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) awarded by the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI).
This first certification for Benin is of utmost importance because the PGI enhances the quality and authenticity of a product from a specific territory, preserves know-how, and protects it. With this label, the marketing of the product both nationally and internationally is facilitated, which generates added value and therefore increased income for the producers. The challenge, however, is to maintain the specifications, in particular the quality and regularity of supply.
PGI is issued by the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), which has 17 African member states. It highlights products whose qualities are linked to a specific terroir (soil quality, climate …), techniques, or particular know-how. In a word, it is a major asset in international trade. It is the result of several years of collaboration between OAPI and the Support Project for the Strengthening of Private Sector Actors (Parasep), funded by the French Development Agency and the European Union
Benin’s sugarloaf pineapple joins the first PGIs in sub-Saharan Africa awarded in 2013 by OAPI, namely Penja pepper (Cameroon), Oku honey (Cameroon), and Ziama-Macenta coffee from Guinea. For Benin, two other products, Sohui gari from Savalou and groundnut oil from Agonlin (Benin) are in the process of being approved.