`Two Spanish Olive Oil Regions Get Protection in China - Olive Oil Times

Two Spanish Olive Oil Regions Get Protection in China

Dec. 4, 2012
Naomi Tupper

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The 10 Plus 10 Project, aimed at pro­tect­ing famous EU food prod­ucts in China in return for the same favor for ten Chinese foods in Europe, has been com­pleted. The inclu­sion of two Spanish olive oils, among other prod­ucts, ensures pro­tected sta­tus for these foods when sold on the Chinese mar­ket.

The project, which began in July 2007, was the result of for­mal appli­ca­tion for the pro­tec­tion of Geographical Indications (GIs) by China and the EU in each other’s regions. Geographical indi­ca­tions mean that the name of the region, place or coun­try from which the prod­uct orig­i­nates can be used to describe the food, as long as the geo­graph­i­cal link occurs in at least one of the pro­duc­tion, pro­cess­ing or prepa­ra­tion stages. GIs are not only an impor­tant mar­ket­ing tool, but also serve to pro­tect from imi­ta­tions.

To obtain a GI, a prod­uct must have spe­cific qual­i­ties or char­ac­ter­is­tics that are asso­ci­ated with the geo­graph­i­cal area, as well as have some stage of their pro­duc­tion tak­ing place in the area. China has a sim­i­lar sys­tem for the pro­tec­tion of foods accord­ing to geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion, how­ever with dif­fer­ing pro­ce­dures, and a lan­guage bar­rier had to be over­come before the project could be final­ized, accord­ing to reports.

The ten EU foods that have been granted pro­tected sta­tus in China include names such as Grana Padano” and Prosciutto di Parma,” while Chinese prod­ucts Pinggu da Tao” (peach) and Dongshan Bai Lu San” (aspara­gus) are on the rec­i­p­ro­cal list.

Along with var­i­ous Italian, French and Great British foods, are Spanish olive oils pro­duced under the names Sierra Mágina” and Priego de Córdoba,” which will now enjoy pro­tected sta­tus in China. The two areas, located in the south­ern Spanish regions of Jaén and Córdoba, are famed for their high qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oils and have both held Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) sta­tus since 1999.

The PDO Sierra Mágina” pro­tects olive oils made from Picual and Manzanillo vari­eties in the national park of the same name, located in the south­ern part of the Jaén province,while the PDO Priego de Córdoba” includes olive oil pro­duced in Priego de Córdoba itself as well as var­i­ous sur­round­ing areas. The oil in this area is made from Picual, Picuda and Hojiblanca vari­eties. Both areas export a sub­stan­tial amount of extra vir­gin olive oil to China, in par­tic­u­lar via the Magnsur Group, who are respon­si­ble for mar­ket­ing olive oil under the Sierra Mágina PDO, and who recently launched their third brand in the Chinese mar­ket.

The Chinese mar­ket, import­ing around 60,000 tonnes of extra vir­gin olive oil a year of which 50 per­cent is from Spain, is of great impor­tance for Spanish olive oil pro­duc­ers. The pro­tec­tion pro­vided by the GI sta­tus for some oils promises to reduce the risk of imi­ta­tions on the mar­ket and can also be used as a sell­ing point to increase sales in this grow­ing mar­ket.

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