One of the most famous exports from India, the Darjeeling Tea was the first product to have a GI tag in India, in 2004. Grown in the gardens at the foothills of the Himalayas, the Darjeeling Tea is also one of the most expensive teas in the world. About 60 percent of the tea is exported. In 2007, the Tea Board of India won a victory against the US and France protecting the GI registration of Darjeeling Tea. Hence, the name ‘Darjeeling’ can only be used to denote tea grown in Darjeeling, processed in the Darjeeling style of manufacturing.
The Darjeeling Tea was also the first Indian product to be recognised by the EU as protected under GI. As part of this recognition, the EU bans the Darjeeling Tea to be blended with any other tea. While the Tea Board has won numerous cases against companies preventing them from marketing goods under the name Darjeeling, it took a hit recently when the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of a French lingerie company Delta Lingerie which launched a line of racy lingerie under the same name. According to the chairman, PK Bezboruah the Tea Board is exploring legal options to counter the company.
Image credit: By David J. Fred – Self-created, Nikon D70, uploaded by creator of image, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1932677