`Europe Seeks Public Input in Effort to Framework for Geographical Indications - Olive Oil Times

Europe Seeks Public Input in Effort to Framework for Geographical Indications

Feb. 1, 2021
Paolo DeAndreis

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A new frame­work will soon pro­tect tra­di­tional spe­cial­ties and the finest local agri­cul­tural prod­ucts of the European Union.

The European Commission’s lat­est pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion asked busi­nesses, insti­tu­tions and cit­i­zens for help in redefin­ing the scope and the role of the geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions (GI), includ­ing prod­ucts with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

The effects of the con­sul­ta­tion will have the biggest impacts on pro­duc­ers and farm­ers, includ­ing olive grow­ers.

See Also: Consumption, Exports of Italian PDOs and PGIs Keep Growing

The Commission under­took the Farm to Fork Strategy to strengthen the leg­isla­tive frame­work of GI schemes, to improve the schemes’ con­tri­bu­tion to sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion and to strengthen the posi­tion of farm­ers and GI pro­ducer groups in the food sup­ply chain,” the Commission wrote.

Although not always con­nected to GI prod­ucts, food chain dynam­ics have often been cited by olive farm­ers and agri­cul­tural asso­ci­a­tions in the bloc as one of the rea­sons for low prices at the ori­gin.

According to the Commission, the scheme should pro­vide GI pro­duc­ers with tools to bet­ter cope with pres­sures in the food value chain” and allow them to have their rights fully enforced in the mar­ket and empower them to man­age their GI asset bet­ter. This could main­tain and increase a fair return to pro­duc­ers from the mar­ket and their eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity.”

According to a recent study by the European Commission, the annual sales of PDO and PGI prod­ucts are val­ued at nearly €75 bil­lion.

The goal of the con­sul­ta­tion is also to attract new pro­duc­ers into the scheme. The aim, accord­ing to the Commission, is to strengthen GIs by increas­ing take-up across the E.U. while ensur­ing effec­tive pro­tec­tion of these rights… The revi­sion will also con­sider sim­pli­fi­ca­tion and admin­is­tra­tive bur­den reduc­tion.”

See Also: Geographical Indications Protected in New China‑E.U. Trade Deal

To this end, the Commission lists sev­eral issues that should be eval­u­ated by the par­tic­i­pat­ing stake­hold­ers in a sur­vey asso­ci­ated with the con­sul­ta­tion, such as ensur­ing that GI pro­duc­ers adhere to pro­duc­tion stan­dards for pre­vent­ing fraud and GI coun­ter­feit­ing.

The Commission also aims to eval­u­ate how hard it is for inter­ested par­ties to under­stand and fol­low the asso­ci­ated leg­is­la­tion cor­rectly. At the same time, the sur­vey asks cit­i­zens to express their view on the whole GI scheme, ask­ing them whether tra­di­tional prod­uct names are a com­mon her­itage that should not be owned by reg­is­tered pro­duc­ers nor restricted to legally bind­ing recipes.”

The European Commission said that it planned to use the infor­ma­tion it gath­ers dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tion, which runs until April 9, to help reform the sys­tem.

Plans for the E.U.-wide pro­tec­tion of geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions for non-agri­cul­tural prod­ucts were announced last November and quickly fol­lowed up with the new GIView data­base’s launch in December.





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