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|The National Office of Intellectual Property has granted protection under geographical indication for Ninh Thuan Province’s sheep and lamb meat. — Photo www.noip.gov.vn|
A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.
It is typically used for foodstuffs, wine and spirits, handicrafts, and agricultural and industrial products to control the quality of products and protect the benefits of producers, local farmers and consumers.
Sheep in the south-central coastal province came from India hundreds of years ago and adapted to the hot and dry conditions, and have become a speciality associated with the province.
The province now has around 860,000 native and hybrid sheep, which grazed for eight to 10 hours a day in hills and meadows.
Its brood sheep are raised in compliance with standards on food, breeding facilities, vaccination, slaughter conditions, and preservation and packaging.
An animal aged between eight and 12 months weighing 30-45kg are sold for slaughter.
The meat products, fresh and frozen, include the whole carcass with head, legs and viscera; smaller pieces; and lamb chops.
The local sheep have darker red meat than hybrid sheep.
The province’s sheep meat is popular for its high nutritional value, low fat and unique flavour.