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EU Trade Chief Stresses Need For Progress On Ensuring GI Protections For Products In US
The European Union’s (EU) trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, last week stressed the need for progress on several so-called “rules” issues, including measures to ensure that, for specialized food and drink products from specific regions in Europe (geographical indications, or GIs), only those products can be marketed as such in the US.
De Gucht made the comment after meeting with US Trade Representative Michael Froman here to review progress on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations that were launched last July.
The Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) noted recently that the EU has been working aggressively within its trade agreements in several nations to restrict the use of food names, including such common cheese names as Parmesan, Asiago, Feta and Gorgonzola.
For example, in the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that was finalized last year, Canada agreed to varying ways of addressing EU requests regarding 179 terms covering foods and beer. For example, the term Parmesan will continue to be free for use in the Canadian market, in both official languages, regardless of product origin.
The CETA provides to the EU limited GI rights on Asiago, Feta, Fontina, Gorgonzola and Munster. CETA won’t affect the abililty of current users of these names in Canada to continue use; however, future users will be able to use the names only when accompanied by expressions such as “kind,” “type,” “style,” “imitation” or the like.
Also under the CETA, Canada maintains the ability to use components of multi-part terms; for example, “Brie de Meaux” will be protected, but the term “brie” can be used on its own; “Gouda Holland” will be protected, but the term “Gouda” can be used on its own; and “Edam Holland” will be protected, but the term “Edam” can be used on its own.
The EU currently has almost 500 protected GI’s, as well as more than 500 protected designations of origin (PDOs). More than 200 cheeses have either PGIs or PDOs, including, among many others, Feta cheese from Greece and Gorgonzola from Italy.
Last month, Denmark applied to the European Commission for a geographical indication that would grant it exclusive use of the name “Havarti” in the EU (for more details, please see “Denmark Wants EU Protected GI Status For Havarti; CCFN Finds Move ‘Appalling’,” on page 1 of our January 31, 2014 issue by scanning the QR Code on p. 2 of this issue).
Meanwhile, Eucolait (European Association of Dairy Trade) said it is a “strong supporter” of the TTIP talks “and hopes for a successful and ambitious outcome for the dairy sector.” Eucolait’s positions on several TTIP issues were...Send more more information