Not just any firm can use the new trademark, Esencial Costa Rica. The firms that seek this designation must first be vetted by the Instituto de Normas Técnicas de Costa Rica.
The institute, a private firm, conducts the evaluation on behalf of the Promotora de Comercio Exterior, which holds the trademark.
The promotions firm is trying to develop the trademark as something that will make Costa Rica recognizable to foreigners. The idea is to have exporters place the trademark on boxes of their product and for others to use it in their advertising and handout material. Tourism operations that seek the designation must already have obtained a certificate of sustainability, according to the rules set down by the promotions agency.
The first 23 firms that have been approved to use this trademark will be awarded their certification in a ceremony Friday at 8:30 a.m. Although the institute does the study, the certification comes from the Ente Costarricense de Acreditación, another public agency.