The EDA welcomed the fact that trademarks, brand names and GIs were excluded from the scope of the Regulation but expressed concern that future amendments could change this.
“Trademarks are not intended to inform consumers about the country of origin or place of provenance of the food and should therefore not trigger Article 26.3,” it said.
“In practice, trademarks and brand names allow consumers to identify a new company or to recognise a company from which they expect certain standards, for example regarding taste, quality, environmental or social policies.”
Protected origin labels, such as PDO and PGI, should be exempt, it said, as they are regulated by separate EU rules. “It would be therefore important for the European dairy industry to not contradict the existing quality schemes given their added value and positive image they bring to the dairy sector from all across the EU and globally.”
It also called for a longer transition period of two years to give dairy operators time to comply.
In any case, it called for swift action from the Commission. “We would also like to take this occasion to encourage a rapid adoption of harmonised European rules on voluntary origin labelling in order to stop the process of disruption of the internal market caused by introduction of national rules on mandatory origin labelling in several member states.”