European Commission to review regulation of geographical indications 

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the upcoming revision of the EU’s geographical indications legislation, which was announced as part of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy. […]
Tue 16/02/2021

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the upcoming revision of the EU’s geographical indications legislation, which was announced as part of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy. The European Commission aims to strengthen the legislative framework of geographical indication schemes and improve the schemes’ contribution to sustainable production. Interested stakeholders have until April 9, 2021 to respond to the consultation.

In May 2020, the European Commission announced that it would revise its geographical indications (GI) legislation as part of the  Farm to Fork Strategy. The Commission aims to strengthen the legislative framework of GI schemes, to improve the schemes’ contribution to sustainable production, and to strengthen the position of farmers and GI producer groups in the food supply chain. The 27 Member States welcomed this Commission’s initiative in their Council Conclusions on the Farm to Fork Strategy. The Member States also invited the Commission to reaffirm the relevance and importance of EU quality schemes.

The European Union currently protects almost 3,400 names of specific products that can be agricultural products and foodstuffs, fishery and aquaculture products wines, spirit drinks and aromatized wine products2. These names are protected under one of the EU quality schemes: Geographical Indication (GI), Protected Designations of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Traditional Specialty Guaranteed (TSG).

The Commission is currently working on an impact assessment to inform this upcoming revision of legislation. The impact assessment will analyse how to improve protection and enforcement of GIs in the Member States, notably on the internet and encourage GI producers to place on the market environmentally and socially sustainable to meet societal demands and consumer expectations, while making the GI instrument more attractive to producer groups across the EU and help them improving economic sustainability. Moreover, it aims to enable consumers to make informed choices on GIs by giving clear information on GIs through the logo and labelling information.

The Commission is also considering the creation of an EU GI protection system for non-agricultural products. As part of the impact assessment exercise, the Commission is carrying out a public consultation to gather information and feedback from stakeholders on the implementation of the current legislation. The Commission would also like stakeholders to identify the major challenges that would need to be addressed in the planned revision of EU GI legislation.