Brussels, 09 April 2021 – EFOW, the European Federation of Origin Wines, has taken part to the EC public consultation on the revision of the Geographical Indications (GI) schemes. EFOW calls on the European Commission to build upon the compromises emerging from the ongoing CAP reform and to refrain from creating a Single Regulation and entrusting GIs to an agency.
EFOW welcomes the possibility to review the GI schemes in order to better help GI operators and GI groups to contribute to the objectives of the Farm to Fork strategy. EFOW’s members believe that the EC should seize this opportunity to strengthen GI groups to allow them to respond to new and emerging challenges in the field of protection (ex. Internet, ingredients) and economic, social and environmental sustainability. These elements have already been promoted by EFOW within the ongoing reform of the CAP and should be part of the new Common Market Organisation (CMO) Regulation. The EC should build on these pillars to reinforce the EU GI policy.
Nevertheless, EFOW asks the EC to maintain separate legislations to preserve the wine sector, as it is indispensable for a sector mainly composed of GIs (over 70%) to discuss its quality policy in the framework of the CMO that offers a global approach to the wine sector (labelling, market instruments, crisis management, marketing rules). Moreover, as GIs are not only Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) but also tools enabling the objectives of agricultural and rural development, it is not acceptable for them to be administered by an IP agency, such as the EUIPO.
EFOW’s President, Mr. Bernard Farges, explains: “this upcoming reform should center on allowing wine appellations to be a real success story in the framework of the EU Green Deal. It should give operators and GI groups the tools to compete on the international level and to respond to consumers demands in terms of authenticity and sustainability. We invite the European Commission to desist from creating a Single Regulation and attributing this policy field to the EUIPO. EFOW stands ready to work constructively in the coming years and making the most of this opportunity to reinforce our GI systems“.