The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has confirmed that the use of national origin labels promoting the sale of local foodstuffs are illegal under European Union (EU) fair trade rules.

Ruling against a ‘Walloon Label of Quality’ available in Belgium’s French-speaking region, the court backed the European Commission in saying that “requirements giving entitlement to a designation of quality should refer exclusively to the intrinsic characteristics of the product, excluding any reference to its geographical origin.”

Indeed, via “conditions for obtaining the label (including) a requirement for processing or manufacture in Wallonie” this food product label broke Article 28 EC of the Treaty on European Union.