Protected designation of origin

From Academic Kids

Protected designation of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indication (PGI) and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) are geographical indications defined in European Union Law to protect regional foods. The legislation came into force in 1992.

These laws protects the names of wines, cheeses, hams, sausages, olives, beers, and even regional breads, fruits, and vegetables. As such, foods such as Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Champagne can only be labelled as such if they come from the designated region. To qualify as Roquefort cheese, for example, cheese must be made from milk of a certain breed of sheep, and matured in caves near the town of Roquefort in the Aveyron region of France where it is "infected" with the spores of a fungus (Penicillium Roqueforti) that grows in these caves.

This system is similar to the French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system or the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) used in Italy.

Article 13 of this legislation states that registered designations are protected against

...any usurpation or imitation, even if the true origin of the product is indicated or if the appellation is used in translated form or accompanied by terms such as "kind", "type"...

The geographical limitations can be quite strict. "Newcastle Brown Ale" is restricted to being brewed in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in England. However, having obtained this protection for their product, the brewery decided in 2004 that it would move across the river Tyne to Gateshead. As Gateshead is a separate city, it does not fall within the required geographical restriction so the brewery is now applying to the European Union authorities to have the geographical restriction revoked–if it is not, the brewery will either have to stay put, or stop calling its beer "Newcastle" brown ale.

This legislation expanded upon the 1951 Stresa Convention, which was the first international agreement on cheese names. Seven countries participated: Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland.

There is no protection for these names on products both made and sold outside the EU. In the United States, for example, one can buy American champagne, Roquefort, Gruyere and Camembert. Products which are either made or sold in the EU, such as Australian Shiraz, which is the same grape as Syrah are subject to regulation.

While the United States usually opposes protection of geographical designations of origin (since many of these which are protected elsewhere are commonly-used generic terms in the United States, such as parmesan cheese), there are some groups, such as the producers of Florida orange juice, who would like to see some degree of protection for their regional designation. There are also cases where a geographical name has been trademarked for a particular product that might not even be manufactured there, such as Philadelphia cream cheese.

Following an agreement during the 1990s by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, and the Australian and EU governments, the others' GIs and the nations' traditional terms of winemaking were meant to have been protected by 1997. However, this has been proceding slowly and while some GIs have been protected in Australia, others are still available for use (primarily for products that have always been called that). It seems unlikely it will have any effect on colloquial speech in the short term.

List of products with PDO/PGI/TSG classifications

A complete list of agricultural products with a European Union Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG), listed alphabetically by nation, is at the Europa Agriculture site ( For Wikipedia articles see Category:Protected designation of origin.

See also

External link

de:Herkunftsbezeichnung eo:Nomo de Origino fr:Appellation d'origine protégée


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