Protect and promote the excellence of the Italian agro-food heritage. This is the ambitious goal that governments have included within their political agendas to ensure quality and bonds with areas of origin for individual products, thereby achieving fundamental added value for the entire continental market.
'The protection of quality products in Europe has already been strengthened by so-called Quality Package, a new standard issued in 2012 which ensures far-reaching controls and changes to the EU Doc, Pdo and Ipg regulatory framework,' explained Paolo De Castro, the new President (Socialist-Democrat Group) of the Agriculture and Rural Development Commission of the European Parliament, to Eurocarne Post. 'Brussels has already achieved major progress to combat counterfeit and will certainly continue in this direction,' he continued. Another topic concerns protecting our products outside the borders of Europe'.
Steps forward have been made in Brazil where local authorities have notified the approval of the new health certificate for exports of pork-based products Made in Italy. Inasmuch, 'salami, pancetta, coppa' and many other specialities from the 'Macro-region of the North' will be allowed to circulate freely inside Brazil's boundaries. Yet a great deal still needs to be done, especially as regards the United States, Japan and India.
With the development of new forms of marketing, including the web, the need to protect and promote PDO and PGI products online was also considered. An agreement has been signed between the Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, the Italian Association of PGI Consortia (Aicig) and eBay, the online auction site that offers users from every corner of the planet the opportunity to buy and sell all types of product from any internet terminal.
'The web is a frontier where we must make significant investments,' said Minister Maurizio Martina, 'but this protocol is only the first step of this process: we will soon introduce a tax credit to support the e-commerce operations in the agro-food field and quality Italian produce seeking additional promotion, especially on-line'.
An example of the importance of international recognition of Italian brands is the legal affair involving Felino salame. This delicatessen meat originating in the province of Parma can be protected by Italy and consequently join the category of PGI products. According to the European Court of Justice, which ruled on the question last April, the protection of a geographical designation and product quality mark can only be determined at European level. Member States, however, have an albeit limited margin of intervention. National law can protect the correctness of the denomination in relation to the place of production, provided that there is no conflict with the free movement of goods. However, the Italian courts - in this case the Court of Cassation - will verify whether the spirit of the Italian legislation for the protection of trademarks has these features.
Source: Eurocarne Outlook