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On 12th October 2016, the European Commission released the news that the Commission has awarded intellectual protection to Khao Sangyod Muang Phatthalung (“Phatthalung Rice”), a golden rice registered as a GI in Thailand 10 years ago, as a Protected Geographical Indication (“PGI”).

It is described in the Official Journal of the European Union granting the PGI protection to the Phatthalung Rice that it is grown from Sangyod Phatthalung variety and is the photoperiod-sensitive lowland rice. It is sown, grown, harvested, milled, packaged and labelled in, and indigenous to, the province of Phatthalung in the south of Thailand. Moreover, it is non-glutinous, light, small, lean and gently fragrant. It can be paddy rice, brown rice and semi milled rice. It has been grown in Phatthalung for over a hundred years and traditionally reserved to be given as a gift to respected senior people and cooked on special occasions, in religious ceremonies or traditional festivals.

As a result of this protection granted, Phattalung rice has the same basic protection throughout the European Union. Under the PGI protection, to be eligible to be called Phatthalung Rice, the whole production cycle of the rice must take place in the province of Phatthalung to ensure that it is conducted entirely under certain geomorphological conditions. It must be grown between August and October, and harvested during its ripening stage between December and February. Also, it must be packaged and labeled in Phatthalung province. This is to give consumers an effective guarantee of the origin and quality of the rice.

With this award, rice with similar stains grown outside Phattalung province would be barred from using the term “Khao Sangyod” as its description.

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