The controversy about PDO and PGI scheme
Italy is the European Queen for quality products protected by EU recognition.and boasts the most numerous recognized local specialities in the EU but many observe that too often those in favour of the PDO and PGI scheme are more concerned with commercialisation than with production. It is legitimate to ask if the specifications are always a real opportunity for the protection and recognition of the productions most typical and local. What must be avoided is that they are transformed into a constraint that ends by penalizing small businesses or innovation.
Giuliano Marrucci wrote about it (Corriere della Sera): Il marchio europeo di Indicazione Geografica Protetta dovrebbe essere uno strumento per tutelare tipicità e qualità. Ma a mettersi i soldi in tasca è quasi sempre l’industria.
PDO and PGI scheme should protect and preserve old italian traditions and should also protect buyers from the so-called Italian Sounding phenomenon, i.e. the use of geographical names, images and logos that evoke the Italy to promote and market products that effectively have no link with Italy at all.
Note: What are PDOs, PGIs and TSGs?
The European Union has three systems for promoting and protecting the names of quality agricultural products and foods:
PDO (Protected Designation of Origin): the name of a product that is produced, processed and prepared in a specific geographical area using recognised know-how.
PGI (Protected Geographical Indication): used to denote agricultural products and foods closely linked to a geographical area, where they are produced and/ or processed and/or prepared.
TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed): emphasises a product’s traditional composition or traditional mode of production.
These systems are intended to encourage the diversification of agricultural production, protect the product names from misuse and imitation and help consumers by providing information on the specific characteristics of the products: The list of registered names can be found on the DOOR database: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/ quality/database/index_en.htm For more information on PDO, PGI and TSG: http://ec.europa.eu/ agriculture/quality/schemes/index_en.htm