Irish whiskey included in list of PGIs to be recognised by China

Irish whiskey has been included in a list of EU protected geographic indications (PGIs) that will be recognised by China under a new agreement.

The European Council adopted a decision today (Monday, November 23) on the conclusion of an agreement between the EU and the Asian country on cooperation around geographic indications (GIs).

A list of 100 European agri-food GIs, including Irish whiskey, will be legally protected in China against imitation and misuse of product names, the council said in a statement.

Meanwhile, 100 Chinese GI’s will receive the same protection in the EU, which the council says would “ensure mutual respect of the best of both agricultural traditions”.

“It’s the first time we have signed an agreement with China for a mutual protection of geographical indications. European products will be better protected in the Chinese market with respect to similar products which do not have the origin indicated by that geographical indication,” said Peter Altmaier, Germany’s minister for economic affairs.

“This will help European exports to China and strengthen their market position,” he argued.

The agreement is set to enter into force at the beginning of 2021.

Within four years, the scope of the agreement will expand to include an additional 175 GIs from both sides, with the possibility for more to be added after that.

Irish Grass-Fed Beef PGI

In terms of the latest developments around Bord Bia’s PGI status application for ‘Irish Grass-Fed Beef’, it appears that Northern Ireland could be included in a cover letter with the application.

AgriLand understands that Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue expressed his intention to reference the north in a letter accompanying the application but not within the application itself.

A statement from Bord Bia said: “At a meeting of the Beef [Market] Taskforce, it was agreed that a request to include Northern Ireland in the PGI application would be included as part of a cover letter accompanying the application to the European Commission.”