PGIs indicate that a food or agricultural product was produced in a certain region or in a particular traditional manner, and help promote production and ensure companies do not mislead consumers with similar products. Protected products include Gorgonzola cheese, Champagne, Cornish pasties and Moroccan argan oil.
EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a statement: “The protection of Geographical Indications is a win-win – it will make it clear to consumers where products come from, so that they can make an informed choice. It will also increase the quality of products and bring additional revenue to farmers. Furthermore, today’s deal is an encouragement for both the EU and Morocco to continue our negotiations towards a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.”
EU agriculture and rural development commissioner Phil Hogan said cooperation on PGIs would help preserve quality agriculture and local products in Europe as well as Morocco.
Moroccan agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch said: "This agreement provides a real opportunity for our growers and especially the smaller ones who have real authentic know-how to maximize the added value of their production.”
In a joint statement, the EU and Morocco said the agreement reflected their converging views on quality policy, consumer protection and intellectual property. It also introduces a mechanism for regular consultation and updates to ease the integration of new products into the list of PGIs.
The agreement must now be approved by the European Council and Parliament as well as Moroccan authorities before becoming law.