The sales value of European foods and agricultural products protected under the EU’s geographical indication (GI) scheme hit €54.3bn in 2010, according to a new report.
GI is a legal status that works somewhat like a trademark to protect products like Parmesan cheese from Parma and French Champagne from imitation. The new European Commission report found that 60% of products under the GI scheme were sold in their country of origin, about 20% were sold in other EU countries, and the remaining 20% were sold outside of the EU
Taken together, GIs represent about 15% of the EU’s total food and drink exports, the report found.
"This shows their importance for the EU economy and the relevance of our efforts to promote and defend this scheme,” said Dacian Cioloş, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. “GIs are key to generating local added-value – and jobs.”
The study also examined the premium attached to products with protected status, and found GI products sold at an average of more than twice (2.23 times) the prices of similar non-GI products.
Wines accounted for more than half (56%) of all sales of food and agricultural products with a protected name in the European Union from 2005 to 2010, agricultural products and foodstuffs for 29%, and spirit drinks for 15%. Aromatised wines accounted for about 0.1% of GI sales.
For foods, cheeses accounted for the biggest slice of GI-protected products, and other main categories were fresh meat, meat products, and vegetables.
France was the biggest user of geographical indications, accounting for nearly 15% of all EU27 products with protected status. It also has the most products pending approval, with 61.
The United States accounted for 30% of all GI-protected products destined for export.
The report focused on the 2,768 GI products registered by 2010.