Pisco: is it from Peru or is it from Chile?

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A large number of countries recognize the denomination of origin of Pisco as Peruvian. These are some other denominations of origin in Latin America

Pisco: is it from Peru or is it from Chile?

Nearly a decade ago, Chile and Peru found themselves in litigation that sought to settle the dispute over where Pisco came from. This alcoholic beverage, which in Latin America has been generally associated with Peru, has for a long time been claimed by Chile as its own, which has generated clashes between industries and social movements that sought to establish the drink as specific to each region.

Leer en español: El Pisco ahora es peruano, ¿siempre lo fue?

To solve this problem, Peru has sought to establish the denomination of origin of its product, and for the official day of Pisco Sour this 2019, the first Saturday of February, there are already 70 countries around the world that recognize that this drink is of origin Peruvian, including the last registered ruling that corresponds to the Council of Intellectual Property Appeals of the Republic of India. These recognitions around the world have made Peru declare itself as the only region that can argue authority over this drink.

The importance of acquiring the designation of origin

But what is the designation of origin? According to different intellectual property organizations, such as Indecopi in the Peruvian case, the designation of origin is a distinctive sign that uses the name of a region or geographical area to designate, distinguish and protect a product based on its special characteristics derived, essentially, of the area where it is made, as well as of natural, climatic and human factors. This denomination of origin can be required by people, associations or industries that are directly related to the production of the product, so that it is recognized around the world.

In Latin America, the designations of origin are very important and varied, since they are part of the specific culture of each region and its export to the world. In this region, the country with the most denominations of origin is Colombia, which has 27 products of this type. Within these denominations stand out different indigenous weavings, productions of hats and crafts in ceramics. Similarly, there is great variety in terms of food, such as coffee or snacks. Mexico is close behind with 16 denominations of origin, including gastronomic products and handicrafts, of which mezcal, tequila, Papantla vanilla and some types of coffee stand out.

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The difficulties in the way to acquire them

If a more general image were made throughout the Latin American territory, it could be observed that the denominations of origin, except for Colombia, are not the great strength of the region, where there are some scattered products, especially in the gastronomic sector, which generally pass through wines, meats and cheeses, with a special mention also to the coffees. This contrasts with the situation of products with the denomination of origin in Europe, which are quite numerous and very diverse, depending on the countries and specific regions in which they are located.

One reason to explain this phenomenon is the temporary difference in industries between one continent and another, as many of the European products are made in a traditional way for a long time before there could even be an industry in Latin America. However, not everything is rosy with these products, because as Deutsche Welle recalled a year ago, the products with denomination of origin can turn out to be the stone in the shoe of the free trade treaties, because the superposition of exclusive names, or the tendency to defend the rights of each of these products against products made in mass, makes trading with them beyond folklore and tradition difficult.


LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Ovalle

Copy edited by Vanesa López Romero

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