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Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) / Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)

Throughout world there is an enormous range of great foods. However, when a product acquires a reputation extending beyond national borders it can find itself in competition with products which pass themselves off as the genuine article and take the same name. This unfair competition not only discourages producers but also misleads consumers. That is why, in 1992, Council Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 of 14 July 1992, the European Union created systems known as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) to promote and protect food products.

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

Protected Designation of Origin covers the term used to describe foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how.

Designation of origin: 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;

Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)

The geographical link must occur in at least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation. Furthermore, the product can benefit from a good reputation.
 
Geographical indication: 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.

To obtain a PDO or PGI

To be eligible to use a protected designation of origin (PDO) or a protected geographical indication (PGI) an agricultural product or foodstuff must comply with a specification.

The product specification shall include at least:

  • the name of the agricultural product or foodstuffs, including the designation of origin or the geographical indication;
  • a description of the agricultural product or foodstuff including the raw materials, if appropriate, and principal physical, chemical, microbiological and/or organoleptic characteristics of the product or the foodstuff;
  • the definition of the geographical area and, if appropriate, details indicating compliance with the requirements;
  • evidence that the agricultural product or the foodstuff originates in the geographical area, within the meaning of (a) or (b), whichever is applicable;
  • a description of the method of obtaining the agricultural product or foodstuff and, if appropriate, the authentic and unvarying local methods;
  • the details bearing out the link with the geographical environment or the geographical origin within the meaning of (a) or (b), whichever is applicable;
  • details of the inspection structures;
  • the specific labelling details relating to the indication PDO or PGI, whichever is applicable, or the equivalent traditional national indications;
  • any requirements laid down by Community and/or national provisions.

The PDO and PGI by European country

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