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Swiss IGP for exclusive use of the word "Absinthe"


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#601 Cajun Magic

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:53 AM

The Swiss gained an IGP (geographic protection) to the terms "la blue", "green fairy", and most bogus "absinthe" to the VdT, questions whether this would hurt producers outside the tiny region arose.

Now they have reached an agreement with Jamaica that only Suisse (VdT) Absinthe can be sold to Jamaica and Jamaica recognizes these bogus regional claims. In short Politricks as usual. No protection to absinthe at all just an politico-economic ploy to control the market entirely and everything else be damned.

The French have claimed an IGP for Pontarlier Absinthe which extends to regions bordering the famous absinthe producing region with it's just as valid NAY more historical contributions and claim to the beloved drink.

Edit: It also was a direct sting to the Matter-Luginbühl Distillery (which produces some amazing stuff) that lies outside of the VdT but still in Switzerland.

Edited by Cajun Magic, 05 December 2013 - 12:01 PM.

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#602 gee13

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:16 PM

So if the Swiss in Vdt has gained IGP over the term 'absinthe' which excludes Oliver Matter products in Kallnach, why is the current Duplais line labelled as Absinthe? Plus others outside of Vdt?

Im curious about the Jamaica part though.. the last peoples Id imagine drinking absinthe with a real fountain and pontarlier glass ... in Trench town listening to Prince Jammy at a sound system?

I guess theres been stranger happenings..

Or am I missing something here

Edited by gee13, 05 December 2013 - 12:20 PM.


#603 Georges Meliès

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:35 PM

Jamaica just sets a precdent. The VdT powers-that-be will leverage that in future negotiations. It gives credibility to their outrageous claim. The first step down a slippery slope.



#604 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:46 PM

So if the Swiss in Vdt has gained IGP over the term 'absinthe' which excludes Oliver Matter products in Kallnach, why is the current Duplais line labelled as Absinthe? Plus others outside of Vdt?

 

According to Swiss supporters, this "generously" allows him to export product... to countries that don't have a treaty with Switzerland, that is.  

 

Im curious about the Jamaica part though.. the last peoples Id imagine drinking absinthe with a real fountain and pontarlier glass ... in Trench town listening to Prince Jammy at a sound system?

I guess theres been stranger happenings..

Or am I missing something here

 

It's not all about absinthe. Various countries have treaties with one another stating that they will respect each other's PGIs. Periodically, they swap lists of what those items are. Absinthe is just one word in a long list of items. Here's the Swiss-Jamaican agreement. Scroll down to page six to see what the protected GIs are.


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#605 Joe Legate

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 07:41 PM

Spirit deals between nations aren't unusual.  We struck a similar deal with Brazil a couple of years ago:  Brazil won't make bourbon and the US won't make cachaça. 

 

The deals can extend to a much more personal level, too: They don't recognize US absinthe and I won't buy/drink Val-de-Travers absinthe.  It's easy.



#606 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:36 PM

I don't really figure I'm missing out on much, since any Swiss absinthe I'd drink comes from outside VdT anyway.


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#607 gee13

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 01:26 AM

As a bystander watcher the devolution of the human species never ceases to amaze me. The further into the future we go the less intelligent we become. As a matter of protected geographical zones it could seem some zones are more devolved than others.. the more sophisticated they imagine themselves to be.

#608 gee13

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 02:13 AM

And so despite the Swiss VdT group gaining IGP on the term absinthe, correct me if Im wrong, producers outside of VdT continue to label their bottles as 'Absinthe'

#609 Joe Legate

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:14 AM

If a country should strike a deal with the Swiss (like the US has with Brazil, Mexico, Scotland, France, etc...), we could be prohibited from using several terms including "absinthe."  If you read the document, you should also realize their reasons are less-than-accurate, bordering on fictitious.



#610 SethP

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:20 AM

What bothers me the most in the Swiss-Jamaican agreement is that the Swiss is including absinthe in whole. If it said "Swiss Absinthe"? Well, fine with me (more or less). But now it says just "Absinthe" in general. Regarding spirits, just look at the Jamaican claims (?). They've listed "Jamaica Rum" and "Jamaican Root wine" specifying the country of origin.. But the Swiss protectionists?? "No, no, no! Absinthe it is. And we don't care much of any complaints."

 

So: I'm continuing my personal boycott of any absinthes coming from Val-de-Travers!

(But I must admit that I certainly made a mistake when bying a small bottle of Blanche Neige, not investigating, as I should've done, where it is produced. Maybe I can defend myself by saying it was sold in an offer I couldn't refuse. :dribble: But anyways; I didn't really check it's origin nevertheless.)


Edited by SethP, 06 December 2013 - 05:22 AM.

Top five brands so far:
Jade (PF) 1901 - this is a winner but also quite an expensive brand (It can be well diluted though) | Grön Opal - Swedens most excellent and newest absinthe | Libertine 72 - for the low price and because it can also be diluted really wellDuplais Balance - very tasty indeed and for quite some time my favourite | Mansinthe - which I find a little bit more "spicy" than others, but with no downsides


#611 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:57 AM

Now they have reached an agreement with Jamaica that only Suisse (VdT) Absinthe can be sold to Jamaica and Jamaica recognizes these bogus regional claims. In short Politricks as usual. No protection to absinthe at all just an politico-economic ploy to control the market entirely and everything else be damned.

The French have claimed an IGP for Pontarlier Absinthe which extends to regions bordering the famous absinthe producing region with it's just as valid NAY more historical contributions and claim to the beloved drink.

 

This statement about what absinthe can be sold in Jamaica is correct if everything in the Swiss-Jamaican agreement holds up. We don't even know if it is in full force and effect yet. It was just signed September of this year. The fact is that the Swiss IGP which would drive all this is not even in effect yet and will probably not be for several years (they are still listening to objections and appeals). As far as "Politricks" or "politico-economic ploys" go, I think folks here should be careful with what they state (we were when we wrote our position statement). Just because it seems obvious to you that there is something nefarious going on, that may not be the case. There are those in Switzerland who think their PGI will have no effect outside their own country and I'm sure at least some of them are genuine in that sentiment.

 

The "Pontarlier Absinthe" IGP contains the requirement of a minimum 20 milligrams per liter of thujone, so it's not without its flaws either.

 

 

So if the Swiss in Vdt has gained IGP over the term 'absinthe' which excludes Oliver Matter products in Kallnach, why is the current Duplais line labelled as Absinthe? Plus others outside of Vdt?

 

And so despite the Swiss VdT group gaining IGP on the term absinthe, correct me if Im wrong, producers outside of VdT continue to label their bottles as 'Absinthe'

 

The accurate answer to this is because the Swiss PGI is not yet in effect. If it does go into effect as written, we will then have to see if the Swiss government allows a producer outside the VdT to make "absinthe" for export only. Any guessing right now is only that... guessing.

 

 

Spirit deals between nations aren't unusual.  We struck a similar deal with Brazil a couple of years ago:  Brazil won't make bourbon and the US won't make cachaça. 

 

Remember that the protections are of the names, not the product types. Actually, Brazil can make a product identical to Bourbon and the US can make a product identical to cachaca. They're just agreeing to not allow use of the names. That is because "Bourbon" is recognized as a specific type of product from the US and cachaca is a specific type of product from Brazil.

 

The biggest problem with the Swiss PGI, in my opinion, is the protection of the generic name "absinthe" instead of a protection of something meaning "Absinthe from the Val-de-Travers". I'm betting when this whole Swiss thing gets fleshed out, that's where they will end up. There's got to be someone rational in that country.

 

... The first step down a slippery slope.

 

And why we wrote our statement of our position on this. The Swiss PGI, if it passes as is, sets up the potential for a good deal of "slippery slope" events that could be very bad for the category of absinthe. It was time for us to officially get our voice in the conversation because it is far easier to try to influence the outcome of events before they are finalized than to try to undo them after the fact. I think it is prudent, however, for everyone to remember that to have a productive discourse about these things you need the people on the other side of the conversation. I'm not thinking that stridency or accusation is the way to engage the people we need involved to arrive at an acceptable outcome.


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#612 SethP

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:04 AM

[...]

So if the Swiss in Vdt has gained IGP over the term 'absinthe' which excludes Oliver Matter products in Kallnach, why is the current Duplais line labelled as Absinthe? Plus others outside of Vdt?

 

>>

And so despite the Swiss VdT group gaining IGP on the term absinthe, correct me if Im wrong, producers outside of VdT continue to label their bottles as 'Absinthe'

 

The accurate answer to this is because the Swiss PGI is not yet in effect. If it does go into effect as written, we will then have to see if the Swiss government allows a producer outside the VdT to make "absinthe" for export only. Any guessing right now is only that... guessing.


[...]

 

I wonder how it is right now, concerning Oliver Matter and his products e.g.? Is he being allowed to sell his absinthe (labeled as such) as we speak?
Edit: In his own country that is?


Edited by SethP, 06 December 2013 - 07:05 AM.

Top five brands so far:
Jade (PF) 1901 - this is a winner but also quite an expensive brand (It can be well diluted though) | Grön Opal - Swedens most excellent and newest absinthe | Libertine 72 - for the low price and because it can also be diluted really wellDuplais Balance - very tasty indeed and for quite some time my favourite | Mansinthe - which I find a little bit more "spicy" than others, but with no downsides


#613 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:17 AM

Yes. He is selling in his own country and the rest of the world.


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#614 SethP

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:25 AM

Good. That's an indication of what you wrote earlier about us not jumping to any hasty conclusions.

The whole idea about this Swiss absinthe protectionism must be opposed though (and I understand you agree on that).

 

Edit: The rest of the world I knew about, of course. ;-)


Edited by SethP, 06 December 2013 - 07:26 AM.

Top five brands so far:
Jade (PF) 1901 - this is a winner but also quite an expensive brand (It can be well diluted though) | Grön Opal - Swedens most excellent and newest absinthe | Libertine 72 - for the low price and because it can also be diluted really wellDuplais Balance - very tasty indeed and for quite some time my favourite | Mansinthe - which I find a little bit more "spicy" than others, but with no downsides


#615 gee13

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 08:15 AM

Right, thanks for the article Gwydion. Not knowing so much about inter country pgi.agreements. It did appear somewhat strange about the swiss - jamaican agreement. Particularly in the context of spirits. Thats why I requested a summary timeline of events leading up to the effect of the swiss exclusive claim on 'Absinthe' label.

#616 Cajun Magic

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:20 PM


As far as "Politricks" or "politico-Just because it seems obvious to you that there is something nefarious going on, that may not be the case. There are those in Switzerland who think their PGI will have no effect outside their own country and I'm sure at least some of them are genuine in that sentiment.


My mistake let's settle for Halon's razor then.

Edited by Cajun Magic, 06 December 2013 - 03:26 PM.

Laissez le bon temps rouler!
L' Huere Verte! C'est le bon temps!
Absinthe! Comme c'est la douceur de vivre!

#617 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:54 PM

A new one on me but in this case I think it's perfect.
blind man see her, dumb man call her name - Ed Bell

#618 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:59 PM

"Hanlon" ;)


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#619 Cajun Magic

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:00 PM

It beings fond memories of material in lectures a history prof gave to one of his classes. He was, well still is one salty fellow and sharp as a tack. A very interesting character to say the least. :laugh:

Oh thanks Mr. Stone, mea culpa for the typo. :paperbag3:

Edited by Cajun Magic, 06 December 2013 - 05:02 PM.

Laissez le bon temps rouler!
L' Huere Verte! C'est le bon temps!
Absinthe! Comme c'est la douceur de vivre!

#620 Joe Legate

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 08:51 PM

I thought the reference was genius, CM.  What are the odds I use it my lectures next semester? :biggrin:



#621 Cajun Magic

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:30 PM

Hanlon's razor works in all the humanities. ;) So use it for the good of...humanity!

Edited by Cajun Magic, 08 December 2013 - 05:38 PM.

Laissez le bon temps rouler!
L' Huere Verte! C'est le bon temps!
Absinthe! Comme c'est la douceur de vivre!

#622 Brian Robinson

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:59 AM

FYI, according to the Matters (via Markus Hartsmar), the IGP has been rejected in the second of three court stages.  They can still appeal the ruling, but this is encouraging!


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#623 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:18 AM

There's got to be someone rational in that country.

 

 

 

What he said.


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#624 Evan Camomile

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:35 AM

Very encouraging, thanks for the update.


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#625 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:28 AM

More info.


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#626 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:12 AM

My favorite part of that blurb is this: "Sites for production of absinthe in recent years have included the Motiers area of Switzerland, France, and Spain. Faux-absinthe produced in the Czech Republic also helped fuel new interest in the drink in the past decade."


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#627 Georges Meliès

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:25 PM

More from a Swiss site.



#628 Joe Legate

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 03:54 PM

Wow!  That's green!

I refuse to celebrate until the association decides whether to continue the fight to their Supreme Court or not. Then, :b-day:



#629 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 04:47 PM

Yep. It hasn't concluded until Brünnhilde performs her aria.


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#630 Georges Meliès

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:21 PM

Somewhere or other I read that taking this to the last stage will cost them 18,000CHF. A chunk of money, but not huge in the grand scheme. I can only hope that they realize that the odds are against them; they aren't likely to prevail so is it worth throwing good money after bad? It's pretty obvious that their entire argument is flawed.

 

However earlier today I found a French-language Swiss site and read the article, and then the comments. The latter were almost all from people in the Neuchatel area (the website was for a newspaper there). They were emphatically aghast that the ruling went against them. So it's not just the producers. There's huge support for the proposal among the local residents. Still, they are outnumbered. No matter how strong their civic pride and love of local history, it's just not possible to say that absinthe is unique to VdT. For that mater, people are still arguing over the question of whether it even started there or not. But no matter, even if it did, at the time of the ban there were millions more bottles being produced in France than in VdT.

 

This French language article talks about how angry everyone in VdT is about the judgment.

 


 

 The Interprofession de l'absinthe  Wednesday did not hide its indignation and incomprehension after the decision of the Federal Adminitrative Tribunal to not give the IGP "Fée Verte." Angry, the Interprofesson de l'absinthe will need to determine its chances of success in an appeal. 


Edited by Georges Meliès, 13 August 2014 - 08:23 PM.



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