EU urges protected origin status for more African, Caribbean and Pacific foods

By Caroline SCOTT-THOMAS contact

- Last updated on GMT

Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is among non-EU products with PGI status
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is among non-EU products with PGI status

Related tags: European union

The European Commission has urged increased global use of its PGI (protected geographical indication) system to increase trade in foods from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, while encouraging sustainable production practices.

The PGI system is widely used in Europe, with 2,768 products recognised by the end of 2010, including Champagne, Melton Mowbray pork pies, feta cheese, and Parma ham. There are also products that the EU recognises as having PGI status sourced from outside of Europe, as long as the geographic indication is protected in the product’s home country – the case with Mexican Tequila and Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica, for example.

Now, the European Commission is urging the use of more PGIs for food products sourced in the ACP regions, as a way to encourage more sustainable production, while also improving farmers’ livelihoods.

“Farmers in the ACP countries, as anywhere in the world, produce many products that have special characteristics or reputation due to their origin, the local environment or savoir faire of the producers,” ​the EC said in a statement.

“The potential for development of geographical indications in ACP countries is well illustrated by the increasing global marketing of specialty coffees designated by origin. While recognizing the early stage of development in many countries and limitations in terms of capacity, the EU is encouraging the development of GI systems of protection.”

There are currently no products with PGI status from the Pacific region. A handful of protected products from the Caribbean include coffee and bananas, while the majority of PGI products from Africa are from South Africa, mostly wines.

Speaking ahead of a briefing on the issue on Wednesday, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş said: "For producers worldwide, geographical indications offer the chance to move away from anonymous and low-paying production chains. Across Asia and South America, producers are taking advantage of the GI system: these benefits must be extended to ACP countries.”

Related topics: Sustainability, Policy, Food labelling

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1 comment

Good news

Posted by Dr Salvatore Parisi, PhD,

Probably, the indication of origin status should help emerging Countries and the control of food commodities in the EU at least. The problem of food authenticity if notable at present, and I am making several researches about this topic.

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