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Geographical Indications: A Success Story of European Agriculture

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1 Geographical Indications: A Success Story of European Agriculture
Raimondo Serra, Agricultural Counsellor Delegation of the European Commission to China International Symposium on Geographical Indications jointly organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of the People Republic of China Beijing, June 26 to 28, 2007

2 Outline Legislation in force Basic concepts Main figures
Why do Gis matter? Third country applications

3 The European Union 27 Member States 490 million consumers
14 million farmers

4 GI Legislation in the EU since 1992
The European Community adopted a “sui generis legislation on Geographical Indications” for agricultural products other than wines and spirits in 1992: Regulation (EEC) n° 2081/92 on the protection of geographical Indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs.

5 Legislation updated in 2006 Regulation (EC) n° 510/06
In March 2006, the EU has made the registration procedure for Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) more efficient and fully WTO compatible adopting Regulation (EC) n° 510/06 on the protection of Geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs


7 Designation of origin (PDO) means...
the name of a region, a specific place or, in exceptional cases, a country, used to describe an agricultural product or a foodstuff: originating in that region, specific place or country, and the quality or characteristics of which are essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment with its inherent natural and human factors, and the production, processing and preparation of which take place in the defined geographical area 2

8 Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) means...
the name of a region, a specific place or, in exceptional cases, a country, used to describe an agricultural product or a foodstuff: originating in that region, specific place or country, and which possesses a specific quality, reputation or other characteristics attributable to that geographical origin and the production and/or processing and/or preparation of which take place in the defined geographical area 3

9 Protection granted in EU
Object of the protection : The registered names (not the product itself) Scope of the protection. Protected against : a) any direct or indirect commercial use of the name for comparable products or if using the name exploits the reputation of the protected name

10 Protection granted… b) any misuse, indication or evocation, even if
- the true origin is indicated - the protected name is translated - the protected name is accompanied by “type”, “method” or similar c) any other false or misleading indications as to the provenance, origin, nature or essential qualities of the product d) any other practice liable to mislead the public as to the true origin of the product

11 Specifications name description of the product
definition of the geographical area evidence that the product originates in the geographical area method of obtaining the product causal link with the geographical environment or origin inspection body

12 Example: Scotch Lamb (PGI)
Description: The product is derived from lambs born, reared throughout their lives, slaughtered and dressed in the designated geographical area. Geographical area: The area is defined as the mainland of Scotland, including the islands off the west coast, Orkney and Shetland.

13 Example: Scotch Lamb (PGI)
Method of production: Lambs are born and reared throughout their lives in the designated geographical area. The animals will have been produced and slaughtered in accordance with quality assurance schemes accredited to European Standard EN 45011 (ISO Guide 65) and having the same standards, assessments and assessment frequencies as those set by the applicant. They are slaughtered and dressed in the designated geographical area in accordance with the specifications. Link: Scotch Lamb has a quality and characteristics arising from extensive grazing on the characteristic pastures of Scotland.

14 Distribution of PDOs/PGIs in the EU (updated May 2007)

15 Distribution by EU Member State (May 2007)

16 Why do GIs matter? GIs are important to the future of EU agriculture:
to contribute to a reorientation towards quality as opposed to quantity; to encourage the diversification of agricultural production; to keep value-added in local areas to provide producers with a higher income in return from genuine efforts to improve quality; and to provide consumers with high quality products with the guarantee of their mode of production and origin.

17 Why do GIs matter? GIs are important because they:
help producers to obtain a premium price for their products in exchange for guarantees offered to consumers on production methods and quality; increase production and create local development; allow for a better redistribution of the added value in the production chain; bring value to the land of origin; prevent the re-localisation of production; encourage diversification in production, thus preserving the biodiversity, local know-how and natural resources; have a positive impact on tourism.

18 Comparative advantages of GI labels
Friesland and Emilia Romagna cheeses compared 1,57 billion kg of milk “Bulk” model Friesland (Netherlands) “Quality” model Parmegiano Reggiano (Italy) Numbers of farms Annual Working Unit/farm Total AWU Income/AWU Nitrogen loss/kg ha-1 5,000 1,7 8,500 309 << equal >> 8,400 2,5 21,000 239 Source: “High quality products and regional specialties: a promising trajectory for endogenous and sustainable development”, Prof. Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, OECD, Siena, Italy, July 2002

19 Comparative advantages of GI labels
Effect on rural areas; example of PGI ‘Volailles de Loué’ (France) 30 million broilers p. year “Bulk” model “Quality” model PGI ‘Volailles de Loué’ Numbers of farms Total Annual Working Unit Agricultural land Land management 150 500 not land-based nil << 1.000 (450 in Loué) 9.500 ha grass land ha cereals trees planted km hedges planted Source: Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, France 2004

20 Third country applications
While the EU’s quality designation systems have for a long time been open to producers in non-EU countries, since 31 March 2006: applications for registration of PDOs, PGIs by producers in third countries Objections to applications by individuals in third countries can be made directly to the Commission as opposed to via national government channels.

21 WTO panel ruling on GIs (2004)
upheld integrity of EU’s GI system questioned the ‘reciprocity and equivalence’ requirement and the registration process for third countries’ applicants called for implementation by April 3, 2006

22 Implementation of WTO panel ruling
formal deletion of ‘reciprocity and equivalence’ requirement from regulations streamlining of registration process for third countries operators, who can now submit applications and objections directly rather than only through their governments revised regulation entered into force on March 31, 2006

23 Registration for non-EU countries producers
Group of producers or individuals applies Application includes specifications, “single document” (intended for publication) and proof of protection in country of origin Sent to European Commission directly or via national authorities  Third country applications most welcome!

24 Colombia presented an application for « Cafe de Colombia »
Application received by the Commission on First published in the OJ C 320 of , p. 17. Six months opposition period currently running

25 If the name qualifies for protection:
The Commission publishes (Official Journal of the European Communities) : Name and address of the applicant, Name of the product, Main points of the application (single document) The Commission makes public specifications

26 The single document (1/2)
PGI or PDO 1- Name proposed for registration 2- Country 3- Applicant group Name of Group Address

27 The single document (2/2)
4- Description of the agricultural product or foodstuff Type of product Description of the product to which the names applies Specific rules concerning packaging Specific rules concerning labelling 5- Concise definition of the geographic area 6- Link with the geographical area Weblink to specifications

28 Thank you for your attention!
Further information at:

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