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China Agrees To Protect 100 EU Geographical Indications, Including Numerous Cheeses

Feta, Gorgonzola, Asiago Among The GIs That Will Be Considered

The European Union (EU) and China agreed last Friday to formally publish a list of 200 European and Chinese geographical indications (GIs), 100 from each side, that will be considered for protection through a bilateral agreement to be concluded this year.

The EU list of products to be protected in China includes a number of cheese products, including Feta from Greece; Danablu from Denmark; Queso Manchego from Spain; Comte and Roquefort from France; Asiago, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, Pecorino Romano and Taleggio from Italy; and West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and White Stilton/Blue Stilton from the UK.

Several of those cheeses are already registered as GIs in China via direct application, including Comte, Roquefort, Grana Padano, West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and White Stilton/Blue Stilton.
They will nevertheless be attached to the future EU-China bilateral agreement.

The publication of these lists is part of the standard procedure and opens a period for interested parties to present their comments.

The Chinese market for agri-food products is one of the world’s largest, and is getting larger every year, fueled by a growing middle class population that has a taste for European food and drink products, often as a result of their international travels, according to the European Commission. China also has a tradition of GIs of its own, many of which are still largely unknown to European consumers but which should now become more widely available thanks to the agreement.

“Our EU geographical indication products are a real success story, with growing global sales worldwide,” said Phil Hogan, the EU’s agriculture commissioner. “Working closely with our global trading partners such as China is a win: it benefits our farmer and agri-businesses; it develops stronger trading relationships between like-minded operators; and of course, it benefits consumers on both sides of the agreement,” Hogan added.

EU-China cooperation on geographical indications began over 10 years ago, and led to the protection of 10 GI names on

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