Guaranteeing quality to consumers and securing fair prices for farmers are the twin aims of the "Quality Package" for food and agricultural products adopted by the European Commission on 10 December 2010. The Quality Package was the first step in the revision of agricultural product quality policy, resulting in the adoption of new quality legislation (Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012).
For the first time, the Quality Package puts in place a comprehensive policy on certification schemes, value-adding terms for agricultural product qualities, and product standards, covering the different facets of quality, from the compliance with minimum standards to the production of highly specific products.
Launched in 2010, the Quality Package resulted in the adoption of new quality legislation that entered into force in 2013: Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012. In addition, the European Commission set up guidelines on best practices for labelling and certification schemes.
The Package included:
- 'Agricultural Product Quality Schemes Regulation', bringing coherence and clarity to the European Union (EU) schemes; reinforcing the flagship scheme for protected designations of origin and geographical indications (PDOs and PGIs); overhauling the traditional specialities guaranteed scheme (TSGs), and laying down a new framework for the development of Optional Quality Terms, such as feeding method and production method;
- general marketing standard for all agricultural products and conferring to the European Commission the right to adopt place‑of‑farming and other sectoral rules for marketing products;
- best practice guidelines on voluntary certification schemes and on the labelling of products using Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) ingredients.
More information: summary on the EU quality policy proposal