"Quality package 2010"
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 Commission on 10 December 2010. The Quality Package is the first step in the overhaul agricultural product quality policy. It is the result of three years of extensive consultation and participation of stakeholders and it opens the way to a more coherent agricultural product quality policy.
What is the Quality Package?
The Quality Package puts in place for the first time 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. The Package comprises:
- a new 'Agricultural Product Quality Schemes Regulation', bringing coherence and clarity to the 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;
- a new general base-line Marketing Standard for all agricultural products and a specific power to adopt place-of-farming and other sectoral rules for marketing product;
- new Guidelines of best practices on voluntary certification schemes and on the labelling of products using PDO-PGI ingredients.
For the future, the Commission announced its intention to study further the problems faced by small-scale producers in participating in Union quality schemes as well as mountain producers to market their products.
>> Read the citizens' summary [25 KB]
What happened next?
The guidelines which are directed towards operators are directly applicable.
The legislative proposals were forwarded to the European Parliament and the Council, for discussion and adoption.
On 3 January 2013 the new Quality Regulation entered into force.