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The special flavor of a Sateré-Mawé’s conquest and its recognized Waraná as a Brazilian Denomination of Origin

By By Marina Ines Fuzita Karakanian and Ana Carolina Lee Barbosa Del Bianco, Dannemann Siemsen - 27/01/2021

The Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) granted, on October 20, 2020, the Designation of Origin ‘Terra Indígena Andirá-Marau’ (or ‘Andirá-Marau Indigenous Land’), for the products waraná (native guaraná) and waraná breads (guaraná canes), to the Consortium of Producers Sateré-Mawé, indigenous people that inhabit the region of the middle Amazon River, and this news won deserved media spotlight.

This is because it was the first Denomination of Origin registered in the name of indigenous people in Brazil, as well as being the first related to a product originated from the Brazilian Amazon Forest.

Considering that the Amazon Forest is the region with the greatest biodiversity in planet Earth - in addition to concentrating approximately 44% of more than 300 species of native fruit in the country - the first registration of Denomination of Origin of an Amazonian fruit is long overdue, and it came with a special flavor, as it is the result of decades of dedication and work by the Sateré-Mawé indigenous people.

It should be noted that for a given territory, region, city or country to be considered as a ‘Denomination of Origin’, it is necessary to prove that the quality or characteristics of a given product or service are due exclusively or essentially to that geographical environment, including natural and human factors.

Thus, it is considerably more difficult to obtain a registration of Denomination of Origin than a registration of Indication of Origin, another type of Geographical Indication granted to locations that have become known as the center of production, manufacture or extraction of a certain product or performance of a particular service.

There are already some Indications of Origin registered in Brazil related to the Amazon region, which are, (i) RIO NEGRO, dated September 9, 2014, for Ornamental Fish; (ii) MAUÉS, dated January 16, 2018, for Guaraná; (iii) UARIRI, dated August 27, 2019, for Manioc Flour; and (iv) NOVO REMANSO, dated September 06, 2020, for Pineapple; but there is only one registration of Denomination of Origin, the one recently granted.

It was a long journey from the preparation of the application, that was submitted to the BPTO on October 20, 2016, to the granting of the Denomination of Origin “Terra Indígena Andirá-Marau”, which occurred four years later, when it was proven the intrinsic relationship of the waraná product (native guaraná) to the geographical environment and its natural aspects present only in that specific region of the Amazon, together with the human contribution of the Sateré-Mawé indigenous tribe.

The Waraná (in the Sateré-Mawé language), known as guaraná, which means “the beginning of all knowledge”, would not exist without the preservation of the ‘Andirá-Marau Indigenous Land’, where it is native, and also for the traditional knowledge and cultivation work of about two hundred families of producers from the Sateré-Mawé tribe.

Guaraná seeds have several culinary uses, the best known being their use in energy drinks, which guarantees recognition and commercial success.

In fact, the importance of the referred Denomination of Origin goes far beyond the protection of the waraná product, as it also means the recognition of the value of the customs, knowledge and traditions of the indigenous peoples in relation to Brazilian biodiversity.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of applications for Geographical Indications in Brazil. Despite the effects of the COVID pandemic, from January 2020 to November of the same year, 16 applications for registration of Geographical Indications have been filed with the BPTO, whereas the average of the previous five years was 10 applications per year.
Considering all the richness of the Brazilian biodiversity, the number of geographical indications required and granted in our country is expected to increase, which will certainly contribute to the fight against the illegitimate use of these names and will add greater economic value to national products.

By By Marina Ines Fuzita Karakanian and Ana Carolina Lee Barbosa Del Bianco, Dannemann Siemsen - 27/01/2021
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