EFOW supports the event that will take place on the 28th of September in the European Parliament regarding the future of the European quality policy. One of EFOW’s members (HNT) will take the floor and will underline, once again, the importance of the management of the production potential for the origin wine sector.
For more information as far as the round-table is concerned please have a look at the hereinafter programme.
Under the patronage of the
AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Round table on the evolution of the European quality policy
September 28 (10h00-12h30)
Room Jozef Antall: JAN 6Q1
Aicig – Associazione Italiana Consorzi Indicazioni Geografiche
Aicig is the Italian Association of all the major Consorzi that manage PDO and PGI products (see attached list of members). It represents 90% of the entire PDO and PGI production in Italy. The President of the Association is Mr. Giuseppe Liberatore (Director of the two Consorzi: Chianti Classico for PDO Oil and for DOCG Wine).
Aicig was created 4 years ago to support the Italian GI sector. It follows the evolution of the rules at national, European and international level. Aicig is also active in training activity of the Consorzi’s employees. Furthermore, the Association cooperates with the Italian Minister of Agriculture (there is a written agreement) for the coordination of the entire activity of the GI Consorzi.
CNAOL is the official organization that regroups all the French Dairy Designation of Origin bodies. To date, in France, 45 cheeses, 2 butters and 1 cream benefit from the Designated Place of Origin Appellation (see list attached). They represent :
- about 17 000 farmers / producers
- 212 tons of cheese, butter and cream
- 17% of the global ripened cheeses,
CNAOL’s mission is to defend and to promote the dairy Designated Place of Origin products (AOC). Its goals are to create awareness and highlight the PDO European logo, as well as the values attached to the Appellation and the Protected Designation of Origin.
Its President, Mr. Patrice Chassard, is a producer of de St Nectaire AOP.
With the support of
oriGIn – the International Network of Geographical Indications Producers,
EFOW – the European Federation of Origin Wines
MAIN POINTS TO BE DISCUSSED AT THE SEPTEMBER 28th ROUND TABLE AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Aicig and Cnaol have invited a number of speakers who represent producers from Austria, Germany, Hungary and Poland to express their views on the future of the quality policy, in particular on geographical indications.
Josef Wechner – Austria – producer of Speck Tirol PGI – will talk about the added value of the GI system for the meat sector.
Robert Scholz – Germany – Managing Director of the legal affairs department of the Bavarian Brewers Association, PGI – will illustrate the importance of the association of producer in Germany and will insist on the importance of GI protection for producers.
Renata Janik – Poland – Representative of the association of producers of TSG in Poland – will insist on the role of the associations of PDO, PGI and STG producers in Poland.
David Brazsil – Hungary – Expert of the National Council of Wine Communities – will underline the importance of the production management for maintaining quality.
In a nutshell, the round table discussion is likely to focus on two main issues which are the most important ones for GI producers in the context of the reform of the quality policy.
- The need to recognize the role played by the organizations in charge of GIs
At the present time, regulation 510/2006 does not give any right to GI producers’ organizations. This is not satisfactory as in many countries these organizations perform a key role in the protection and promotion of the GI of a large number of GIs, in particular all major GI products. These GI producers’ organizations not only prepare the request for GI registration but play a key role in coordinating actions regarding the defense of the GI name, as well as the communication and promotion of the product and of the GI concept. In some countries, such as Italy, Consortiums have been granted a public authority role. They are in charge of public functions that have been given to them by a delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture. The “Consorzio’s” inspectors can conduct investigations on the market; in such cases, they are considered as “policemen“. Therefore, the “Consorzio” plays a very important role regarding the controls and supervision of the respect of national laws and of EU regulation n. 510/06.
Trademarks owners can take measures to ensure that their products are looked after in a correct manner from the production phase to the distribution phase. On the contrary, GI producers are only allowed to work on the quality at the production level. This is clearly not sufficient. GI producers must have the ability to ensure that the quality, image and reputation of their products are preserved also at the distribution level that is where the products meet the consumers.
The EU regulation should be amended to allow organizations in charge of a GI which are sufficiently representatives of a GI to play a clear role in the management, protection and promotion of the GI product.
- The importance for the organizations in charge of GIs to have the means to manage the production
GI sectors have not been spared of market fluctuations and crisis over the last years. In general, there has been a stabilization or increase of consumer price for GIs while price paid to the GI producers have fallen. This has created major problems at the production level with producers being put under great economic pressure and some having to stop their activities.
This can be explained partly by the lack of balance between the power of producers and the power of buyers of GI products.
However, this is not the only factor. In many cases, the increase of the production has played a major role in destabilizing the market. This increase is the result of independent decisions from producers who are free to decide on their own about their GI production although it can affect a whole sector. Attempts to regulate the production of GIs have sometimes been considered illegal under national/EU competition rules. This is quite surprising when looking at the market share of GI products, as an example, the biggest European GI cheese represents less than 3% of its market.
Confronted with severe crisis, some GI producers have obtained support and the ability to take exceptional measures to try to secure a balance between the supply and the demand with a view to stabilize the price paid to producers. Other GI producers have been able to develop a more sustainable approach which has helped them to prevent crisis and to manage their growth in a positive manner. This is the case of the wine sector which has a planting rights system in place until the end of 2015 – and wants to keep it afterwards – as well as of GI Comté cheese producers from France which have a government approved supply control scheme in place. Interestingly, this market organisation has been studied by a professor in economy from the University of California, Mr. Pierre Mérel, who concludes in his study that the supply control scheme of the Comté has little effect on consumer prices. Furthermore, market power estimates are considered to be close enough to perfect competition not to raise economic efficiency concerns. As a result, Comté production remains more profitable to milk producers and the Comté sector has not been exposed to major crisis in the past 10 years.
Bearing in mind that it is vital to safeguard the common heritage which constitutes the essence of any GI, it is crucial to protect GI products against market fluctuations which go against the very aims of the GI (protection of a guaranteed quality, respect of traditions). These fluctuations create stock problems, causes the closure of small units holding that have a large expertise. As a result, typicality and taste are definitely lost.
The supply management “at source” allows a better market share for producers because it provides a better balance power between supply and demand. It must be noted that the possibility for GIs to manage the production should not prevent the entry of new producers but should be implemented in a way that respects the free market access. If used, it should be a “measure of restraint” that affects both new and old producers.
If EU decision-makers are serious about preserving the diversity of the European agriculture, there is a need to provide a suitable framework that allows for the management of GI production. This system would not weigh upon the CAP budget; it would reassure producers and investors who will be ready to invest more in these productions which are located often in EU disadvantaged regions.