25 October 2023 News

PRESS RELEASE: AREPO Regions and Producers welcome the political deal on the revision of the EU Geographical Indications system

“AREPO Regions and Producers welcome the political deal on the revision of the EU Geographical Indications system reached yesterday by EU Institutions” commented Mercedes Morán Álvarez, new President of AREPO and Regional Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Sustainable Development of the Extremadura region.

“The voice and requests of our territories and GI producers have been heard and we are satisfied with the result achieved. For this, we thank the excellent and patient work carried out by the rapporteur for the European Parliament, MEP Paolo De Castro, and his team, and all the shadow rapporteurs and their teams who, from the beginning, made themselves available to strengthen together the EU GI system and the impact these products have on the development of our regions” she added.

“This reform is also the result of tight and joint work by representatives of the sector, that I thank for their willingness to cooperate and the mutual support. It is also the result of a great commitment and implication of the European Committee of the Regions that contributed in amplifying the needs and proposals coming from EU territories”.

Negotiators agreed on the following key provisions, that will have to undergo further technical work to be in line with the provisional agreement reached and then formally adopted by the Parliament and the Council before entering into force in 2024:

  • The creation of a single regulation covering agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines and spirit drinks, with some specific provisions on wine remaining in the CMO regulation;
  • Faster procedures for registration and amendments;
  • The strengthening of the role of producer groups, introducing more powers and responsibilities for recognised producer groups. The agreement maintains the provisions on recognized producer group already existing in some Member States, making it optional for other Member States to establish a recognition system;
  • The improvement of GIs protection, especially online and on domain names. This will be enforced using geo-blocking and will be aligned with the Digital Services Act;
  • The extension of protection to GIs used as ingredients. To use a GI name when it is an ingredient in other products, processors are required to inform the relevant producer group in advance and it is now mandatory for them to indicate on the label the percentage of GI product used. Those Member States that wish to do so may also provide for a requirement of written authorisation by the producer group;
  • The recognition of GIs commitment towards sustainability. To better valorise GI producers’ actions regarding economic, environmental and social sustainability, GI producers can agree on sustainability practices, that can be voluntarily showcased in a sustainability report or included in the product specification. Furthermore, the text agreed upon by co-legislators introduces a non-exhaustive list of sustainability practices, as requested by AREPO;
  • The central role of DG Agri in the management of the GI system, supported by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on administrative issues.

AREPO Regions and Producers look forward to seeing how yesterday’s provisional agreement will be translated into the final text of the regulation, aware that the entry into force of the new regulation will mark a new path for EU Geographical Indications.

AREPO will keep committing to further collaboration with EU and regional Institutions, producers and partner organisations representing GIs sector, in the implementation of the revised system and the exchange of practices, ensuring that EU GIs continue to spread and thrive for the growth and sustainable development of our territories.