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IP listing: Phuket Pineapple gets put in its proper place

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PHUKET: The iconic ‘Phuket Pineapple’ has been registered on a list of 20 ‘geographical identity’ products by the Department of Intellectual Property.

News of the listing, made in November, was announced by Phuket Provincial Commercial Affairs Office Director Sompong Onprasert during a meeting of provincial office chiefs at Phuket Provincial Hall.

Also included on the list from the region were Trang Grilled Pork and Surat Thani Oyster.

Mr Sompong said the application for the Phuket Pineapple’s listing was made two years ago.

The office also hopes to get a similar listing for the ‘Phuket Pearl,’ he said.

Registration will allow consumers around the country to know when they are getting authentic Phuket Pineapples and this will be good for local farmers, he said.

Farmers in Thalang, where the pineapples are grown between rows of rubber trees, are now trying to set up a system of rules to standardize and improve the quality of their fruit, he said.

Apart from their appeal as a food, Phuket Pineapples are also valued for their appearance.

Miniature versions are common sights at spirit houses and on offering tables at Chinese shrines around the country. Ethnic Chinese Thais believe the many eyes on the husk’s exterior represent vision and wisdom.

Songwat Tuetow, a specialist with the Phuket office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, said all cultivation in Phuket takes place at 55 farms in Thalang covering 1,555 rai.

Despite the latest registration, the Phuket Pineapple is actually an import. It is thought to have first been brought to the island by Portuguese traders over a hundred years ago. In the South, the pineapple is also cultivated in parts of Phang Nga, Krabi and Surat Thani, Mr Songwat said.

It is also grown in parts of the Isarn region, but soil conditions tend to make it less sweet than those grown locally, he added.

Its biggest rivals in the Thai pineapple market are the Pattavia, grown mostly in the Central Plains, and the ‘Nanglae Pineapple’, grown in the Chiang Rai district of the same name.

— S. Nongkaew & S. Fein

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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