EU: EU steps up bid for better protection of regional products
EU Member States have cleared a shortlist of 41 EU regional products whose names the EU wants to recover and protect.
The European commission said in a statement that the list will be negotiated in the agriculture negotiations within the World Trade Organisation's Doha Development Agenda. The shortlist contains well-established European products whose names, the EU says, are being abused, such as Roquefort cheese, Parma ham or Rioja wine.
In order to prevent current geographical indications (GIs) being usurped in the future, the EU said it is also negotiating the establishment of a multilateral register of GIs as well as the extension of the protection foreseen for wines and spirits to products other than wines and spirits.
"I am pleased that our Member States have cleared this list. Together with our allies, the EU will do its utmost to achieve better protection for regional quality products, from Europe's Roquefort Cheese to India's Darjeeling tea, from Guatemala's Antigua coffee to Morocco's Argan oil in the WTO talks. This is not about protectionism. It is about fairness. It is simply not acceptable that the EU cannot sell its genuine Italian Parma Ham in Canada because the trade mark "Parma Ham" is reserved for a ham produced in Canada," EU Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler said.
The full list of products can be seen here.
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