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The Protection of Origins for Agricultural Products and Foods in Europe: Status Quo, Problems and Policy Recommendations for the Green Book

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The protection of geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs is one of the major pillars of the Common European Agricultural Policy and has become an important part of the transition from supporting commodity markets to enabling producers to market goods which satisfy consumer tastes. According to estimates, a total annual sales volume of approximately €14 bn is generated with protected geographical indications (PGI) and protected designations of origin (PDO). Nevertheless, the increase in utilization of the protection systems made obvious a number of problems in the practical application of the law. The Commission recognized these criticisms and announced a discussion on the regulation that was to commence officially in the autumn of 2008 with a Green Book about the PDO/PGI protection regime. In this context, the most recent problems are discussed and proposals are made that should be taken into account in order to accomplish the main goals of the regulation. Therefore this article is addressed to agricultural policy makers, consumer associations, as well as food producers and producer associations in Europe in order to provide a starting point for the Green Book debate.

Keywords: food; geographical indications; international trade; property rights

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Technical University of Munich 2: Bavarian Ministry of Agriculture 3: Loschelder Rechtsanwälte 4: Terra Fusca Engineering Company

Publication date: November 1, 2009


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