Protecting Italian excellence even on internet markets. This is the goal of the recent agreement between the Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, Aicig (the Italian Association of PGI Consortia) 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 memorandum of understanding will thus enhance PDO and PGI agro-food produce on the internet platform by encouraging the availability on the on-line market of quality Italian products. Typical produce include Abbacchio romano, Agnello di Sardegna PGI, Cinta Senese and Vitellone bianco dell’Appenino Centrale PGI: these are just some of the certified meats representing tradition Italian specialties.
'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.'
Italian PDO and PGI products, in fact, account for 40% of the entire EU production with these designations. Italy is a leader in Europe with 264 recognised products and national consumption turnover of nearly 9 billion euros. This is a heritage that institutions and entrepreneurs are keen to protect even on eBay, one of the largest on-line markets in the world, and especially in Italy, where there are more than four million active users. This is also because the web is witnessing an increasing number of counterfeiting phenomena and sales of fake Made in Italy throughout the agro-food sector, especially as regards certified products.
The protocol relies on the so-called VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) system which already boasts more than 37,000 active users and allows holders of intellectual property rights (such as copyright, trademarks or patents) to report any violations. Through this programme, the Central Inspectorate Department for the protection of quality and repression of fraud concerning food products (ICQRF) at the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, together with Aicig, undertake to send eBay 'notifications of infringement of intellectual property in relation to PDO and PGI products'. The latter, in turn, undertakes to remove ads where violations of these products are found.
Source: Eurocarne Outlook