EU agricultural product quality policy
Quality is an issue for every farmer and buyer, whether dealing with commodities produced to basic standards or with the high-end quality products in which Europe excels. EU farmers must build on high quality reputation to sustain competitiveness and profitability.
EU law lays down stringent requirements guaranteeing the standards of all European products. In addition, EU quality schemes identify products and foodstuffs farmed and produced to exacting specifications.
Specific EU quality schemes - guaranteeing quality
- Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for
- Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) for
- Outermost regions: Products specific to Azores, Canary Islands, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, La Réunion, Madeira, and Martinique
The DOOR ("Database of Origin and Registration") database includes product names for foodstuffs registered as PDO, PGI or TSG as well as names for which registration has been applied.
E-BACCHUS is the database on geographical indications protected in the European Community for wines originating in Member States and third countries.
EU schemes operate in the market alongside an increasing number of public and private certification schemes.
In addition, the European marketing standards encourage EU farmers to produce products of given quality, in conformity with the consumers' expectations. They allow a comparison of prices between various qualities of the same product. They also ensure minimum quality for the consumer and facilitate the operation of the internal market and the international trade.
They replace the various national standards and are regulated by the "single CMO".
Getting the most of EU agricultural product quality policy
A new Regulation on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs entered into force in the beginning of 2013.
It achieves a simplified regime for several quality schemes by putting them under one single legal instrument.
Furthermore, it creates a more robust framework for the protection and promotion of quality agricultural products.
The key elements of the new Regulation include:
- more coherence and clarity to the EU quality schemes,
- a reinforcement of the existing scheme for protected designations of origin and geographical indications (PDOs and PGIs),
- overhauling the traditional specialities guaranteed scheme (TSGs),
- laying down a new framework for the development of optional quality terms to provide consumers with further information, it creates and protects the optional quality term "mountain product".
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