Public consultation on how to strengthen GI system launched by commission

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on how to strengthen the geographical indications (GI) system.

It is inviting citizens and organisations as well as national and regional public authorities to contribute to the assessment.

The EU protects almost 3,400 names of specific products – agricultural products and foodstuffs, fishery and aquaculture products, wines, spirit drinks – under one of its quality schemes: GI; Protected Designations of Origin (PDO); Protected Geographical Indication (PGI); and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG).

The goal of the consultation is to gather views on the major challenges identified that would need to be addressed in the planned revision, as well as their underlying causes, the set of policy options that can be envisaged to address these challenges and the impacts stemming from these different options.

The questionnaire is available in all EU languages and it can be accessed via the European Commission web page dedicated to the consultation. The deadline for contributions is April 9.

GI and agriculture

Contributions are particularly sought from national, regional and local public authorities competent for quality policy of agri-food; organisations from the farming sector from European farmers’ lobby organisations to small local producers’ organisations; organisations from the processing sector; consumers’ organisations;  and organisations from the trade sector.

As noted by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, a GI is a sign used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin.

Most commonly, a GI includes the name of the place or origin of the goods. Agricultural products typically have qualities that derive from their place or production and are influenced by specific local factors, such as climate and soil.

PGI

In November 2020, the publication of the final version of the PGI application for “Irish Grass Fed Beef”, submitted by Bord Bia, was announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.

Also Read: McConalogue announces publication of Irish Grass Fed Beef PGI application

He said at the time, after confirming the application was in order to be sent to the commission:

“I know that there is a detailed process which must now be completed by the European Commission in evaluating this application.

However, I will be emphasising to Commissioner Wojciechowski that PGI status for our unique quality, Irish grass fed beef would have benefits for all those in the supply chain, principally the primary producer, at this critical time for the Irish beef sector.

Continuing, the minister added: “If the PGI is successfully registered, a PGI Monitoring Group will be established to report to the Beef Taskforce on progress on a regular basis, with a majority farmer representation.”

‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’ is the name given to quality Irish beef from cattle raised on a grass based diet on pasture grazing farms in Ireland, which derive at least 90% of their feed intake from grass and spend a minimum of 220 days per year throughout their lifetime grazing pasture in accordance with the Bord Bia Grass Fed Standard.