Following the signature of the free trade agreement signed between the EFTA and Lebanon and the definition of the bilateral technical assistance programme between Switzerland and Lebanon, the SECO (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs) mandated IDEAS Centre for the development of a support project to the Lebanese administration in order to define a strategy for the protection of geographical indications (GIs). Under the IDEAS Centre responsibility, AGRIDEA has the responsibility to implement the operational part of the project in Lebanon and has therefore hired two Lebanese collaborators.
The first step of this project, which started in September 2005 and finished in 2008, was to realise an inventory of the products which are on the consumption market and which can be considered as geographical indications. The Lebanese agricultural supply chains stakeholders’ awareness of the importance of geographical indications protection will be heightened. AGRIDEA also looked for synergies with existing programmes related to products quality. Producers and products willing to be recognised have also been identified.
During the second step of the project, AGRIDEA, together with the Lebanese administration, has proposed a legislative framework for the protection of the Lebanese geographical indications. All through the project, a specific attention has been given on the Lebanese stakeholders training for the project team members as much as for the supply chains and administration stakeholders.
At the end of the project, appropriate competences and legislative framework are available for the implementation and the management of GI protection system in Lebanon.