Brussels, 26th November 2020

At the occasion of the online conference on “Strengthening Geographical Indications”, EFOW, the European Federation of Origin Wines, and oriGIn EU, the European antenna of the global alliance of geographical Indications (GIs), take the initiative to reiterate their appreciation for the recent initiatives taken by the European Commission to reinforce the EU GI system and call on EU law-makers to adopt amendments tabled in the context of the CAP reform that will strengthen GIs.

The EU is a renowned leader in the production of GI products. This positioning has helped shape and maintain sustainable rural areas. The role played by EU GIs is widely demonstrated at producers, consumers and society’s levels. Expectations in terms of quality, diversity and rural development are rapidly changing though. The on-going debate on the future of the CAP shows a strong demand for a renewed agricultural policy, which takes into account the contribution of agriculture to the pursuit of environmental, social and economic objectives. EFOW and oriGIn EU consider that the EU quality policy is a public policy aiming at delivering public goods to the whole European society. As such, GI policy should be considered a major pillar of the Farm to Fork strategy for a transition towards a European sustainable food system.

EFOW and oriGIn EU are grateful to the European Commission and to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) for having organised the November 25 and 26 conference on “Strengthening Geographical Indications” but also for the launch of GIview, a new search database for all GIs protected in the EU. We also welcome the start of the revision of the GI policy as it is fundamental to maximise GIs potential and help them contribute to the Farm to Fork strategy objectives. It is important to fully consider the key role played by GI producers in the protection of the environment, as well as their contribution to the economic and social development of many regions across the EU. It is also urgent to develop policies that will allow them to go even further by ensuring that a decent price is paid to produce the high-quality foodstuffs and drinks that EU consumers enjoy.”, says Claude Vermot-Desroches, President of oriGIn.

EFOW and origin EU members are fully committed to improving the EU GI system and to adapt it the expectations of an evolving society. That is why, in the framework of the current revision of the CAP policy, we were pleased to note that the European Parliament has proposed positive changes to allow GI producers to meet the challenges that they are facing. To name but a few: the voluntary inclusion in our specifications of sustainability criteria, the possibility for Interbranch Organisations to discuss about economic indicators and establish value sharing clauses and a better protection of GIs, notably on the Internet. We hence call upon the Council and the European Commission to endorse these proposals.” concludes Bernard Farges, President of EFOW.

EFOW is a Brussels-based organisation representing wines with an Appellation of Origin or Geographical Indication from the European Union. As the voice of the European origin wines towards European and international institutions, it is actively lobbying for a better protection and promotion of these wines within the EU and throughout the world. Its current members are the national associations in charge of origin wines from France (CNAOC), Italy (FEDERDOC) and Spain (CECRV), as well as the Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP) from Portugal.

oriGIn EU is the European branch of the Geographical Indications (GIs) global alliance and represents GIs individual groups as well as GIs national associations before the European institutions. The GIs sector makes a tremendous contribution to the European economy, representing a sales value of more than €75 billion and some 15.5% of total EU food and drink exports.

At the end of 2018, 3872 EU GIs were protected in the EU, including 1942 wines, 1652 agricultural products and foodstuffs, 273 spirits and 5 aromatised wine products. In value terms, the EU market for geographical indications represents more than €55 billion and they account for more than 15% of total EU food and drink exports.

PRESS RELEASE | EU GIs welcome the European Commission’s initiatives to strengthen the EU Geographical Indication system