The Communication on agricultural product quality policy
The Commission Communication presented on 28 May 2009 lays down strategic orientations to improve the EU agricultural product quality policy.
The Commission strongly believes that EU farmers must build on high quality reputation to sustain competitiveness and profitability. However, they need to better communicate to consumers the qualities of their products if they want to retain fair share of the value added. This will give the opportunity to consumers to make informed choices.
The EU is willing to help reconnecting farmers to consumers. This is the aim of the Communication.
>> Read the Citizens' summary [24 KB]
The Communication considers all EU quality policies at the same time: marketing standards, geographical indications, traditional specialties guaranteed, organic farming, and certification schemes.
It builds on the consultation on the Green Paper – 560 contributions received – and the High Level Quality Policy Conference organised in Prague on 12 and 13 March 2009.
The Council provided political orientations in June 2009 with Council conclusions [see also statement from the delegations ]. This opened the way to future EU initiatives (guidelines, legislative proposals…) which were presented as part of a 'Quality package' in December 2010.
The Communication in a nutshell
To achieve a greater overall coherence and consistency of agricultural product quality policy, the Commission suggests:
- a progressive adoption of obligatory place-of-farming labelling;
- a replacement of detailed marketing standards by a general standard and development of the 'reserved terms' instrument;
- the establishment of non-binding guidelines covering private and national food quality certification schemes;
- the creation of a unique register for all geographical indications (for wines, spirits and agricultural products and foodstuffs) while preserving the specificities of each system;
- the improvement of international protection of geographical indications and the contribution to the development of international standards for marketing standards and organic product;
- the replacement of the Traditional Specialties Guaranteed (TSG) scheme.