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European Commission to review regulation of geographical indications 

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. 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.

 

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Poma de Girona distributes 300 kg of apples to local health workers

The producers of the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Poma de Girona, formed by the companies Girona Fruits, Giropoma Costa Brava and Fructícola Empordà, last week distributed 300 kg of apples to health professionals in the area. This solidarity action, in support of the tireless effort of health workers in combatting the coronavirus (COVID-19), took place at the Doctor Josep Trueta University Hospital in Girona, and at the hospitals of Figueres and Palamós.

The apples they have brought are from the four varieties (Golden, Red Delicious, Gala and Granny Smith) of the PGI Poma de Girona, which has almost 80 producer partners representing a total of 1,700 productive hectares. Poma de Girona does not rule out repeating this action in the coming weeks in other health centres of the province.

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Poma de Girona develops apples for warmer conditions

Poma de Girona develops apples for warmer conditions

The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Poma de Girona will begin to market five varieties of apples adapted to warm climates within five years. In this way, the 80 producers of the group are preparing for the consequences of climate change and the resulting progressive increase in temperature.

At the Fruit Logistica fair, held in Berlin in early February, the promoters of this programme signed an agreement with the global leader in fruit production and marketing Turners & Growers Global to sell and continue to develop new varieties of apples and pears adapted to warm climates. These varieties are already being produced and are characterised by excellent quality and high coloration under high temperature conditions. They also have resistance to pests and diseases in warm areas.

The president of the IGP, Llorenç Frigola, explained that the genetic improvement programme gives the opportunity to Poma de Girona to be in “the elite of the world apple production and marketing.” With these varieties, the partners of the IGP Poma de Girona will be able to offer consumers varieties produced in local conditions and reduce the need for imports, which, together with a more efficient use of natural resources to be better adapted to the climate, will result in in an improvement of sustainability.

This international improvement program uses both New Zealand and local varieties to identify the best combinations for these hotter climates. Since 2002, when the program was launched, the objective has been to create new varieties with a high quality of taste that give satisfaction to the consumer and at the same time adapt to the climatic conditions of the production area of ​​Catalonia.

Poma de Girona consists of the companies Girona Fruits, of Bordils; Frutícola Empordà, of Sant Pere Pescador, and Giropoma Costa Brava, of Ullà. It is the leading apple producer in the Iberian Peninsula with 80,000 tons per year. Since 2003, the brand has been part of Fruit Futur, the Institute of Agri-Food Research and Technology (IRTA) of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food and the New Zealand-based scientific company Plant & Food with the international programme Hot Climate Program (HCP), whose objective is to develop new varieties of apples and pears adapted to growing areas with high temperatures.

Currently, in the demarcation of Girona there are 2,284 hectares of apple trees, 84% of which (some 1,700 hectares) are part of this PGI. The three companies affiliated to Poma de Girona produce and market six varieties: Gala, Golden, Fuji, Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Pink Lady that are grown in Baix Empordà, Alt Empordà, La Selva and Gironès. However, only four of these varieties (Golden, Gala, Red Delicious and Granny Smith) are covered by the PGI.

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Rocca Imperiale lemons: the new PGI for citrus fruits from Calabria

The new Rocca Imperiale lemon consortium aims to focus on sales channels capable of highlighting the excellence of the lemon and strengthening the identity of the PGI product.

The new consortium aims to focus on sales channels capable of highlighting the excellence of the lemon and strengthening the identity of the PGI product.

A new certified PGI product has arrived that will enrich the already wide spectrum of Italian citrus fruits of excellence: the Rocca Imperiale lemon, the most renowned lemon variety in Calabria, whose cultivation and sale is monitored by the newly-constituted producers’ association.

President Vincenzo Marino said the association’s work consists on the one hand of providing visibility to the product by highlighting its value, and on the other of protecting the product by ensuring that the rules are respected.

“The association has a membership of around 60 producers, all located in the district of Rocca Imperiale since it is a single-district PGI. The lemon has three main characteristics: a high percentage of limonene, no lower than 70%; low acidity, never exceeding 5%; and a very high juice content, which must not be lower than 30%.”

A popular reflorescent lemon since it flowers at least four times per year, producing different fruits at each florescence, the Limone di Rocca Imperiale PGI owes its unusual characteristics to the pedoclimatic characteristics of the land where it is produced, which is close to the sea and enjoys a moderate climate despite an altitude of around 200 metres.

“The harvest of this lemon begins in November with il Femminiello and lasts right through until June/July, with the yield peaking between January and May. The difference in atmospheric temperature from day to night also favours the colouration of the skin and the concentration of the essential oils it contains. The annual yield ranges between 100 and 120 tons, with the potential to reach 200 tons within the next two years,” Marino said.

This is a fast-growing product in high demand, and its fame is beginning to extend beyond Italy’s borders. “We are currently working with three major packaging companies operating throughout Italy but also in France, and we are sending some product to Germany, but at the moment we do not have enough product to be speaking of large-scale exportation,” he said.

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More promotion for Cuneo PGI red apples

Showcasing one of the most important PGIs in the Italian fruit sector, as well as the terrain that produces it, as the foundation of a sales strategy that looks beyond Italy’s borders: this is the policy of Asprofrut – Assortofrutta with regards to Cuneo PGI red apples.

Showcasing one of the most important PGIs in the Italian fruit sector, as well as the terrain that produces it, as the foundation of a sales strategy that looks beyond Italy’s borders: this is the policy of Asprofrut – Assortofrutta with regards to Cuneo PGI red apples.

“As far as the apple sector is concerned,” said president Domenico Sacchetto, “we are focusing more and more on the organoleptic properties and the higher quality of the range of varieties, because the market is currently demanding recognisable apples. Our cutting-edge quality, particularly where Cuneo PGI red apples are concerned, is their coloration, which allows us to supply very demanding markets such as those of the United Arab Emirates.”

A product of excellence, in demand in many countries but which, paradoxically, is having trouble taking off on the national market. “We export red apples all over the world, but in Italy we are having trouble making the PGI really take off. We need funding from the EU for promotion and it’s difficult these days to be able to continue ensuring excellent products at competitive prices,” Sacchetto said.

This is not a problem for other varieties, which have had great success even in foreign markets. “Aside from our traditional overseas markets, we are also approaching national and European markets. At the moment we are putting a lot of focus on apples from the Gala group, which are replacing Red Delicious on a global scale,” he said.

Assortofrutta is the Association of Consortia for the Promotion and Protection of fruit and vegetable production under the collective brand of the province of Cuneo and of Piedmont. Asprofrut, on the other hand, is a Cooperative Consortium of fruit and vegetable producers in Piedmont, Liguria and Aosta Valley which comprises over 1,200 companies and is made up of 15 consortium companies.

Formed in 1970, Piemonte Asprofrut today produces over 120,000 tons of products typical to the agriculture of Piedmont: peaches, apples, kiwis, pears, apricots, plums, strawberries, fruits of the forest, and a variety of vegetables. The associated company Asprofrut is subject to rigorous controls to ensure that the production guidelines are applied correctly.

This article appeared on page 71 of edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read that issue online here.

 

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PGI sought for Anguria Reggiana watermelon

Historical documents contain a wealth of references to watermelon cultivation in the Reggio Emilia area being a well-established, generations-old tradition.

The characteristic that makes Italy’s Anguria Reggiana watermelon stand out is the particularly sweet flavour of the pulp, linked to its sugar content.

The application for a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for the watermelon, published by the European Commission earlier this month, says this is thanks to a Brix value of more than 11 in the case of the Ashai Mijako type, and 12 in the case of the Crimson and Sentinel types.

The sweetness of these melons harks from the skill of the producers and the refined cultivation techniques they use, particularly at the time of harvesting or ‘picking’, it says.

“This is done in at least three visits to each plant, to ensure that every ‘Anguria Reggiana’ has fully ripened to the highest possible sugar content without being overripe, with crisp, firm flesh. The level of ripeness is shown by the visible characteristics of the rind, the footstalk and the tendril, and especially by the distinctive sound made when the watermelon is tapped with the hand. All of these external aspects can be evaluated in the field.

Every watermelon is thus individually assessed, tapped and selected prior to harvest, and is picked only if the operator considers…it has attained the desired level of ripeness, consistency and keeping quality. The field inspection is generally carried out first thing in the morning when the watermelons have benefited from the cool of the night and are at a good storage temperature.

“The melons are picked with a billhook, a special cutting tool with a partially curved blade. This special tool has been perfected over the years so as to avoid severing the branches of the plant, which must remain in optimum physical condition until all the fruits have been picked. These operations rely on the ancient, accumulated know-how, handed down over generations, of the local pickers who can select the ripe fruit and harvest it whilst protecting subsequent production.

“The skills and knowledge of local producers arise from a long-standing tradition, which has led to a well-known association between the product and the region.”

Historical documents contain a wealth of references to watermelon cultivation in the Reggio Emilia area being a well-established, generations-old tradition.

The first mentions of its high quality date back to the 16th century; correspondence between the old courts of the Po Renaissance extol the excellence of the product cultivated in this area, the application says.

Geographical area

The production area includes the whole of the following municipalities: Bagnolo in Piano, Cadelbosco di Sopra, Campagnola, Castelnovo Sotto, Correggio, Fabbrico, Novellara, Poviglio, Rio Saliceto, S. Martino in Rio and parts of the following municipalities: Boretto, Brescello, Campegine, Gattatico, Gualtieri, Guastalla, Reggio Emilia, Reggiolo, Rolo and Rubiera.

Anguria Reggiana melon types

‘Anguria Reggiana’ is produced in the following types:
—   round type, with the characteristics of the Ashai Mijako type: round fruit; grey-green rind with dark green stripes; firm, crisp flesh, which is bright red when fully ripe; weight varying between 5 kg and 12 kg,
—   oval type, with the characteristics of the Crimson type: round, oval fruit; moderately bright green rind with dark green streaks; firm, crisp flesh, which is red when fully ripe; weight varying between 7 kg and 16 kg,
—   elongated type, with the characteristics of the Sentinel type: elongated fruit; moderately bright green rind with dark green streaks; firm, crisp flesh, which is bright red when fully ripe; weight varying between 7 kg and 20 kg.

 

 

 

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Citrus District of Sicily – a network of quality producers

The Citrus District of Sicily is the first ground-breaking consortium formed in the region to create synergy between private marketing and processing companies, along with local authorities and the farming world.

An increasing number of wholesalers and operators in the fruit and vegetable markets are seeking out Italian fruit, due to the sentiment and identity bound up with certainty about its geographical origin, guaranteed by its PDO and PGI certificates and its quality, and also because they realise that Italian consumers are willing to buy citrus fruit when they know it comes from Sicily.

Synergies are needed to promote the excellent quality of Sicilian agri-food products at every level, as this is probably the only way to make more space for the firms in this value chain and improve their returns. Founded in 2011, the Citrus District of Sicily is the first ground-breaking consortium formed in the region to create synergy between private marketing and processing companies, along with local authorities and the farming world. The district, chaired since its foundation by agronomist Federica Argentati, represents over 2,000 sector members and over 21,000 ha of orchards and has an annual turnover of over €400 million.

Discussing upcoming strategies, Argentati believes it is necessary for the district to also become a monitoring authority for citrus production in Sicily, since it is currently almost impossible to gain clear knowledge of the volumes produced, as the information sent is often incomplete or confused, with reports often even contradicting each other. “To be more competitive, we need to know about the production volumes in real-time, as well as the quality of our products,” Argentati said.

Image source: ‘Sicilian citrus fruits. A day in the island of the sun.’ video

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EU approves PGI for Italian onion

Italy’s ‘Cipolla Bianca di Margherita’ – a sweet, white onion produced along the Adriatic coast – was registered in the EU as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) on October 20.

Italy’s ‘Cipolla Bianca di Margherita’ – a sweet, white onion produced along the Adriatic coast – was registered in the EU as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) on October 20.

According to the PGI application, the onion (Allium cepa L.) is a fresh product, noted for its succulent bulbs with a high sugar content. When harvested it must be sweet and juicy in the mouth and be tender and crisp in texture.

There are four different local ecotypes, based on the growing period: ‘Marzaiola’ or ‘Aprilatica’, ‘Maggiaiola’, ‘Giugniese’ and ‘Lugliatica’.

The production area for ‘Cipolla bianca di Margherita’ comprises the territories of the municipalities of Margherita di Savoia, Zapponeta and Manfredonia.

“Thanks to the specific genetic characteristics of the populations that have been selected and propagated over centuries by the local farmers and to the specific soil and climatic conditions, the ‘Cipolla bianca di Margherita’ has distinct characteristics,” the application said.

A study by the University of Foggia found that compared to other white onion cultivars grown outside the geographical area, the the most significant differences of ‘Cipolla bianca di Margherita’ onions are:

  • a low level of dry matter and soluble solids, making the onion crunchier and more succulent,
  • lack of sharpness,
  • high quantities of reducing sugars, making them sweeter
  • they are harvested earlier than in other growing areas.

Source: DOOR

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Peaches and nectarines PGI: enjoy the difference!

The peach and the nectarine of Romagna, produced only in the typical area that covers the provinces of Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna, Ferrara and Bologna, are the only ones that can boast about PGI brand, the European recognition, that guarantees their uniqueness and emphasizes the close link with the territory of origin, which for its special environmental characteristics and for the historical tradition of the producers, allows to obtain qualitative levels of excellence.

The summer season brought to Italian tables the peaches and nectarines of the Romagna PGI, which returned for the second consecutive year as protagonists of the triennial European campaign of communication and promotion of the fruit and vegetable PDO and PGI.

With the message Enjoy the difference!, Europe signs the products of its territories, the campaign had as its goal increasing knowledge of PGI products, which seem with defined characteristics guaranteed by the European label.

The peach and the nectarine of Romagna, produced only in the typical area that covers the provinces of Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna, Ferrara and Bologna, are the only ones that can boast the PGI brand, the European recognition that guarantees their uniqueness and emphasises the close link with the territory of origin, which for its special environmental characteristics and for the historical tradition of the producers, allows to obtain qualitative levels of excellence.

In Italy from the last mid-July until mid-August, some promotional activities organised within the framework of the EU campaign were carried out: the peaches and the nectarines of Romagna PGI were present in some of the main chains of the large-scale retail, like Abbondanza, Super Alì, Coop Adricatica. In the sales points of the chains concerned, information on the peach and the nectarine of Romagna PGI was distributed, helping consumers discover all the benefits of these tasty fruits.

Moreover, the activities have continued with the sponsorship of some local events like the youth football S. Agostino Tournament in the province of Ferrara that held the 6th – 7th July 2015, in partnership with the mountain bike eventPlan de Corones MTB Race of the 18th July to San Vigilio di Marebbe, in the province of Bolzano on July 19th the Tournament of Beach Basketball to Bagno Kusall in Lido di Spina (Comacchio), in order to end with the tournament of Beach tennis the13th/14th/18th July to Bagno Marrakech in Lido di Spina.

The Radicchio of Treviso and the pear of Emilia-Romagna are the other two products that characterise the European campaign in Italy.

The European multi-country (France, Italy and Spain) program of information and promotion “Fruits & Vegetables PDO-PGI” promotes the official European labels PDO-PGI, through the example of 8 varieties of fruit and vegetables.

These are:
for France, the KIWI de L’ADOUR PGI, the SANDS ASPARAGUS PGI (Landes), the PÉRIGORD STRAWBERRY PGI and the AGEN PRUNEAU PGI
for Italy, the EMILIA ROMAGNA PEAR PGI, the ROMAGNA PEACH/NECTARINE PGI and the RADICCHIO of TREVISO PGI
for Spain, KAKI OF RIBERA del XÙQUER PDO

The communication and promotion campaign, called “Europe signs the products of its terroirs”, targets 3 countries of the European Union: France, Italy and Germany.
The aim of this campaign is to inform and sensitize the consumers and the professionals of the sector on the PDO and PGI products and on their multiple assets, through the valorization and the promotion of the terroir.

Duration of the program: February 2014-February 2017

source: August newsletter of AREFLH (Assembly of European Fruit and Vegetable Growing and Horticultural Regions)