Boost for Sri Lanka’s cinnamon producers as EU agrees protected geographical indication

As of 2 February 2022, the European Union (EU) officially recognizes Ceylon cinnamon as a protected geographical indication (PGI) for exclusive quality emanating from its specific origin and the associated harvesting and processing know-how and techniques. UNIDO worked hand-in-hand with Sri Lanka’s cinnamon industry to elevate Ceylon cinnamon to the ranks of other world-renowned PGIs like Scotch Whiskey, Champagne, and Parmigiano Reggiano. This is a historical feat as the first-ever GI product from Sri Lanka and the first-ever Sri Lankan PGI in the EU. Within the framework of a four-year, EUR 8 million project funded by the EU titled, “EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance”, UNIDO convened and capacitated 500+ cinnamon value chain actors to operate under a single system of representation with a shared code of practice, established a blockchain-based traceability system to reinforce and demonstrate quality compliance, and laid down the undergirding legal framework for GI registration, smoothing the way for future GI products in Sri Lanka. After a decade-long journey, the cinnamon industry is now ready to effectively champion the brand value of GI-certified Ceylon cinnamon products.

These achievements are expected to facilitate gains in market share, command a premium on quality-differentiated products that apply this GI scheme, stimulate investment in the cinnamon industry, and generate socioeconomic returns for at least 30,000 integrated value chain actors. The impact on poverty alleviation and inclusive economic diversification would be acutely and imminently felt as workers in the informal sector, particularly women and youth, would be absorbed into productive jobs in the formal sector and positive spill-overs from intersectoral linkages would stimulate employment.    

In a subsequent EU-funded project titled, “Mainstreaming Standards-Based Best Practices for Agri-Food Sector Development”, UNIDO will further capacitate Sri Lanka’s trade support institutions and private sector and leverage the momentum to propel the quality reputation and traceability of other products with uniquely Sri Lankan terroir-specific qualities that have promising export potential.

Read the press release here.

For further information contact Juan Pablo Diaz-Castillo (J.Diaz-Castillo [at]