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The government has sought the advice of e-com firms to create a separate category on their respective platforms.
The government has sought the advice of e-com firms to create a separate category on their respective platforms.

Govt consults e-commerce firms to promote GI products

During the meeting, participants also highlighted the role that the government can play in cataloguing, standardizing and scaling of GI products

Bengaluru: The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) held a meeting on Wednesday with major e-commerce firms including Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Pepperfry and Paytm Mall amongst others to discuss the scope of listing geographic indication (GI) products on their platforms.

The government said it is contemplating on making GI tagging and logo mandatory for relevant products, as well as sought the advice of e-commerce firms to create a separate category on their respective platforms for these products.

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Apart from e-commerce firms, representatives from retail chain majors including Vishal Megamart Pvt.Ltd were also present at the meeting along with state department representatives of Kerala, Odisha amongst others.

“The meeting was a collaborative thought on how e-commerce companies can list these products and undertake promotions to push sales of these GI products […] It was also discussed that manufacturer of these products should undertake the activity of putting the GI logo, like it is done for 'Make In India' products, in order to ensure that resellers know that the product is a GI product," said an individual which was present at the meeting.

However, the above quoted person added that a detailed timeline hasn’t been set for releasing guidelines around - responsibilities of putting the logo and on separate categorization of these products.

During the meeting, participants also highlighted the role that the government can play in cataloguing, standardizing and scaling of GI products. Further, it. was discussed that linkages need to be created with the suppliers and manufacturers.

“From a brand point, the market continues to be fragmented in nature of the supply base and marketplaces will not be able to enter and organize the GI seller market. The government will have to do undertake efforts on the ground through self-help groups to train these artisans and individuals," said a second e-commerce executive aware about the discussions.

GI tag is essentially used on products that correspond to a specific geographical location or origin, including a certain town or region in India. These include Darjeeling tea, Coorg Arabica coffee and Kashmiri saffron, to name a few, which are largely sold through offline retail.

According to a third e-commerce executive, the current strategy of listing GI products is a way for Indian government to push the mandate for local businesses, as it looks to increase focus towards indigenous goods. Alongside, DPIIT and ministry of consumer affairs has also mandated e-commerce firms to ensure that sellers on their platform mention the 'country of origin' for new and existing listings - a move which is turning out to be a nightmare for online commerce firms.

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