To protect the typicality of some food products, the European Union has enacted a regulation and established two kinds of recognition: PDO and PGI, through which it intends to protect the designation of the products and their typicality from imitations and abuses. Moreover, they are a way to support different productions and help consumers in the choice of food products, providing information and guarantees about their characteristics.
A guarantee for the consumer
Both of these community designations guarantee to the consumer the quality of the food, which must meet precise requirements and is produced in compliance with the procedural guidelines.
The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is a European designation of origin that can be attributed to those foods whose peculiar qualitative characteristics depend mainly on the territory in which they are produced. The geographical environment includes both natural factors (climate, environmental characteristics), and human factors (production techniques handed down over time, production skill) which, combined, make a unique product outside a specific production area. To have the PDO Designation all the steps of the production must take place in a defined geographical area. Who makes PDO products must follow the strict rules established in the production disciplinary. The respect of these rules is guaranteed by a specific independent control organization.
The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) indicates an attribution given to those food products which the specific characteristics are strictly dependent on the production, processing and/or processing skills developed in a determined geographical area. Therefore, to obtain the I.G.P., at least one step of the production process must take place in a particular area. The producers who make PGI goods must comply with the strict rules established in the production disciplinary. The respect of these rules is guaranteed by a specific independent control organization.