EU quality policy aims to protect the names of specific products to promote their unique characteristics, linked to their geographical origin as well as traditional know-how.
Product names can be granted a ‘geographical indication’ (GI) if they have a specific link to the place where they are made. The GI recognition enables consumers to trust and distinguish quality products while also helping producers to market their products better.
Products that are under consideration or have been granted GI recognition are listed in quality products registers. The registers also include information on the geographical and production specifications for each product.
Other EU quality schemes emphasise the traditional production process or products made in difficult natural areas such as mountains or islands.
Geographical indications establish intellectual property rights for specific products, whose qualities are specifically linked to the area of production.
Geographical indications comprise:
- PDO – protected designation of origin (food and wine)
- PGI – protected geographical indication (food and wine)
- GI – geographical indication (spirit drinks and aromatised wines).
The EU geographical indications system protects the names of products that originate from specific regions and have specific qualities or enjoy a reputation linked to the production territory. The differences between PDO and PGI are linked primarily to how much of the product’s raw materials must come from the area, or how much of the production process has to take place within the specific region. GI is specific for spirit drinks and aromatised wines.