Japan May Recognize Some PDO and PGI Olive Oils from European Countries

Extra virgin olive oils from France, Greece, Italy and Spain will be considered for protection from imitations or copies on the Japanese market.
By Daniel Dawson
Aug. 12, 2021 09:30 UTC

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will con­sider rec­og­niz­ing a list of 17 European food prod­ucts with pro­tected geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tors.

The list includes five types of extra vir­gin olive oils from four European Union coun­tries, along with ham, cheese, sea­son­ing, sausage, bread and hops.

The fol­low­ing olive oils with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) sta­tus were included in the agree­ment:

  • Huile d’olive de la val­lée des Baux-de-Provence (France)
  • Chania Kritis (Greece)
  • Monti Iblei (Italy)
  • Aceite de Mallorca (Spain)
  • Montes de Toledo (Spain)

The min­istry pub­lished the list ear­lier this month and will con­sider pub­lic com­ments on the issue until November. Once the pub­lic com­ment period has closed, the min­istry will hold an expert com­mit­tee before decid­ing on the issue.

Products with PDO or PGI are big busi­ness in Europe. A 2020 study from the European Commission found that prod­ucts with either a PDO or PGI are worth almost €75 bil­lion each year.

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Extra vir­gin olive oils make up €277 mil­lion of that total. Currently, there are 133 extra vir­gin olive oils from seven coun­tries with a reg­is­tered PDO or PGI cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in the E.U.

A sep­a­rate report from Italy’s Institute of Services for the Agricultural Food Market (Ismea) found that the value of Italian extra vir­gin olive oils with a pro­tected indi­ca­tor has steadily risen to €144 mil­lion.

The nego­ti­a­tions over pro­tect­ing the geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tors come one year after the E.U. and China struck a sim­i­lar deal for the lat­ter to rec­og­nize 24 European extra vir­gin olive oils.

This deal is very pos­i­tive for Japanese and European farm­ers and will con­tinue to be,” said European Agricultural Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski when the deal was orig­i­nally announced in February.

These [PDO and PGI] prod­ucts have real added value, reflect­ing authen­tic­ity and qual­ity, while fur­ther reward­ing our farm­ers,” he added.


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