To protect the uniqueness of certain food products, the European Union has launched a specific legislation, establishing two levels of recognition: PDO and PGI, through which it aims to protect the products’ names and their typical qualities from imitations and abuses, to support the different products and to help consumers in choosing food products, by providing information and guarantees with respect to their own characteristics.
A guarantee for the consumer
Both of these European marks are a valid guarantee for the consumer, who knows therefore he’s going to buy quality food, which must meet certain requirements and are produced in compliance with precise specifications.
The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is a European mark of origin which is attributed to those foods whose peculiar characteristics depend essentially on the territory where they are produced. The geographical environment includes natural factors (i.e. climate, environmental characteristics) and human factors (technical production handed down over time, mastery of production, know-how), which, when combined, allow to obtain an inimitable product outside of a particular area of production. In order to obtain a PDO product, the stages of production, processing and preparation must take place in a defined geographical area. Who makes PDO products must adhere to strict production rules set out in the specification, and the respect of these rules is guaranteed by a specific independent control body.
The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) indicates a mark of origin that is recognised to those food products for which the specific quality, reputation or other characteristics are closely dependent on the ability of production, processing and/or preparation, developed in a specific geographical area. To obtain the PGI, therefore, at least one phase of the production process must occur in a particular area. Who makes PGI products must follow the strict production rules laid down in the product specification, and compliance with these rules is guaranteed by a specific independent control body.