Bologna potato group attacks EU-Canada deal

In a report published by Fruitnet, it is said that the Bologna PDO Potato Consortium has joined a chorus of voices in Italy protesting against the country’s imminent ratification of the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), a deal between the EU and Canada that is designed to eliminate the vast majority of trade tariffs between the two. According to the group, which was founded in the beginning of this year, the agreement opens the door to “agri-food piracy” and will harm the commercial prospects of Bologna’s potato producers and their place-of-origin trademarks. “CETA doesn’t provide any protection in the Canadian market to around 250 of the 291 PDO and PGI geographical indications recognised by the EU, and to only 12 of the 44 PDO and PGI products from Emilia-Romagna,” explained consortium president Alberto Zambon, who argued that the agreement also allowed marketers too much freedom to translate the names of other non-certified Italian products in any way they chose.

“The name is the link with the place of origin… it’s the most precious thing we have,” he added. “It sums up the value of our producers’ work, as well as their future, and offers a guarantee to consumers who are aware of [their food’s] origin and quality. Therefore we cannot accept opening the way to imitations that so clearly exploit the names of our specialities.”

[Note to readers: PDO is “Protected Designation of Origin” – one of three categories stipulated in the Geographical indications and traditional specialities classifications used in the European Union for protected regional foods.
PGI is “Protected Geographical Indication” – PGI is a coveted status that guarantees the origin of a product and the qualities that can only be afforded by a particular region, from Parmesan Cheese and Parma Ham in Italy to Champagne in France.]