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Geographical indications: a European treasure worth 75 billion euros

Press release

According to a study published today by the European Commission, sales of agrifood products and beverages whose names are protected by the European Union as “geographical indications” (GI) represent a value of 74.76 billion dollars. ‘euros. More than a fifth of this amount comes from exports to third countries. The study found that the sales value of a product with a protected designation is on average twice that of a similar product without certification.


Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner responsible for agriculture, said: “European geographical indications reflect the richness and diversity of products offered by our agricultural sector. The advantages for producers are clear: they can sell their products at a higher price, to consumers who are looking for authentic regional products. GIs are an essential aspect of our trade agreements. By protecting our products all over the world, we prevent fraudulent use of their names and we preserve the good reputation of European drinks and food products. Geographical indications protect local value globally. ”


European food is known to be safe, nutritious and of high quality. Traditional production methods contribute to the EU’s goal of also becoming the global standard for sustainable food production.


EU quality systems aim to protect the names of specific products in order to promote their unique characteristics, linked to their geographical origin as well as to know-how rooted in the region. These product names are part of the EU intellectual property rights system, which legally protects them against imitation and abuse. Agri-food products and wines are protected as protected designations of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indications (PGI) and spirit drinks as geographical indications (GI). The European Union also protects “guaranteed traditional specialties” (TSG), which highlight the traditional aspects of a product, unrelated to a specific geographical area. The value of sales of agricultural products and foodstuffs labeled as STG amounts to 2.3 billion euros.


The study was based on all 3,207 product names protected in the 28 EU Member States at the end of 2017 (by the end of March 2020, the total number of protected names had increased to 3 322). It concludes that the sales value of a product with a protected name is on average twice that of similar products without certification.


According to the study, there is a clear economic advantage for producers in terms of increased marketing and sales, thanks to the high quality and reputation of these products and the fact that consumers are willing to pay the price for a genuine product.


The main conclusions of the study are as follows:
Significant sales value: Geographical indications and traditional specialties guaranteed together represented an estimated sales value of € 77.15 billion in 2017, or 7% of the total sales value of the European food and drink sector , estimated at 1,101 billion euros in 2017. Wines represented more than half of this amount (39.4 billion euros), agricultural products and foodstuffs 35% (27.34 billion euros) and spirits 13% (10.35 billion euros). ‘euros). Of the 3,207 product names registered in 2017 (GI and STG), 49% were wines, 43% agri-food products and 8% spirits.


Higher sales premium for protected products: the sales value of products covered by the study was on average twice that of similar products without certification. The value premium rate was 2.85 for wines, 2.52 for spirits and 1.5 for agricultural products and foodstuffs.


A truly European policy: each EU country supplies products whose IP / 20/683 names are protected at Union level and which are flagships of the traditional culinary heritage of the regions and play a role of economic engines for the national agrifood sector.


Exports of geographical indications: Geographical indications represent 15.5% of total EU agri-food exports. Wines remain the most important product in terms of total sales value (51%) and extra-EU trade (50%). The United States, China and Singapore are the main destinations for EU products with a geographical indication and account for half of the export value of these products.


In order to ensure that the EU’s quality policy continues to deliver its best results, an on line public consultation was launched from 4 November 2019 to 3 February 2020, in order to gather feedback from stakeholders on this Politics. Among the main findings, a majority of respondents agreed that EU quality systems benefit producers and consumers. The factual synthesis report provides a detailed overview of the feedback gathered during the public consultation.


Context
Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Geographical Indications (GI) for spirit drinks guarantee consumers that the products concerned are actually produced in their specific region of origin, using the know-how and techniques rooted in the region. The main difference between PDO and PGI is in the amount of raw materials coming from the region concerned or in determining the stages of the production process that should take place in that region. Some of the famous geographical indications include Bayerisches Bier, Champagne, Irish Whiskey, Kalamata olives, Parmigiano Reggiano, Polish Vodka, Queso Manchego and Roquefort.
On the other hand, guaranteed traditional specialties (TSG) focus on traditional aspects such as the traditional method of production or traditional composition, unrelated to a specific geographical area. Examples of well-known TSGs: Bacalhau de Cura Tradicional Portuguesa, Amatriciana tradizionale, Hollandse maatjesharing and Kriek.
The EU has concluded more than 30 international agreements which allow recognition of numerous EU geographical indications outside the Union as well as of geographical indications from third countries within the EU. Geographical indications play an increasingly important role in trade negotiations between the EU and other countries. In addition, the Commission spends around € 50 million every year promoting quality products in the EU and globally.

Find out more :
Study on the economic value of EU quality systems, geographical indications (GI) and traditional guaranteed specialties (STGs
Quality systems explained
quality food and drink in the EU