The European Commission has launched a website to provide advice for those applying to register a product from designation geographical areas.
Applications to register a product as a 'Protected Designation of Origin' (PDO), a 'Protected Geographical Indication' (PGI) or a 'Traditional Speciality Guaranteed' (TSG) can all be consulted on the Directorate-General for Agriculture's website.
The Commission said that the new service should contribute to more transparency, simplification and effectiveness in the consultation procedure before registration of a PDO/PGI/TSG.
The Commission is required to publish details of the applications in the Official Journal of the European Communities at least six months before the procedure is completed. The publication of the application for registration allows objections to request. Pending registrations can be consulted at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/foodqual/protec/firstpub/index_en.htm
The PDO, PGI and TSG systems were created by the European Union in 1992, after it ruled that there was unfair competition for some producers from products using misleading names.
A 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.
In the case of the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) 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.
A TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) does not refer to the origin but highlights traditional character, either in the composition or means of production.
Detailed information on the products already registered as PDO/PGI or TSG can be found at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/foodqual/quali1_en.htm