oriGIn Alerts 23 November 2018: #Transparency #Protection #Brexit #Food #Labelling

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#Transparency #Protection: oriGIn Worldwide GIs Compilation one year after its first publication

oriGIn Worldwide GIs Compilation has the objective to establish a common language in the international GIs landscape. It is an attempt to list in an alphabetical order all GIs currently protected in the world, notwithstanding the legal system and terminology adopted at the national level. For each GI, the compilation mentions the country of origin, the relevant national law, the product’s category, some basic information about the product at issue as well as third country/ies where it is protected via a multilateral and/or a plurilateral agreement. For oriGIn Members (identified by the oriGIn logo next to the GI name), we have mentioned registrations in foreign jurisdictions secured directly by the relevant groups (this is not exhaustive and we ask for your support to make it as complete as possible). 

One year after its publication, oriGIn worldwide GIs compilation cannot be considered exhaustive. Our efforts are a starting point in promoting transparency with respect to a relevant economic reality – GIs – which has acquired a global dimension. Through this tool, oriGIn wishes to promote a fruitful dialogue among countries adopting different approaches on GIs, with the objective to reconcile the existing differences.


#Brexit: the Draft Withdrawal Agreement safeguards GIs

On 14 November the European Commission and the United Kingdom’s negotiators have reached a Draft agreement on the Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community

The Draft Agreement  (Title IV, intellectual property / article 54.2.) provides for the continued protection of registered EU GIs in the United Kingdom and of UK GIs in the EU. The UK will guarantee at least the same level of protection currently available within the EU for the existing stock of GIs (without re-examination). This protection will be enforced through domestic UK legislation. EU-approved GIs from the UK remain unaffected within the EU. The approval of the all Draft Agreement by the UK Parliament (vote scheduled at the beginning of December), is expected to be problematic. 

oriGIn – which has been quite active over the last months to push Brexit negotiators to preserve the existing level of GIs protection in the UK (Brexit: oriGIn pushes for legal certainty for GIs beneficiaries and consumers  & Brexit negotiations: oriGIn EU renews its call for legal certainty for GIs ) welcomes the Draft Agreement. oriGIn has also participated in the consultation on establishing UK Geographical Indications (GI) schemes after exit 


#Food #Labelling: The “Eat ORIGINal! Unmask your food” initiative

European citizens have the right to suggest concrete legal changes on matters where the EU has competence to legislate, through the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). The ECI has to be backed by at least one million EU citizens in one year, and a minimum number of signatories is required from at least 7 Member States. 

The ECI “Eat ORIGINal! Unmask your food” calls on the European Commission to impose mandatory origin labelling for all food products to protect European citizens’ health, to prevent food frauds and to guarantee consumers’ right to information. A harmonized EU regulatory framework on food mandatory origin labelling is not yet in place and “Eat ORIGINal! Unmask your food” is intended to fill that gap.

The “Eat ORIGINal!” ECI is backed by a group of 11 partner organizations representing 7 EU Member States:

  • Coldiretti, Fondazione Campagna Amica and Fondazione UniVerde for Italy;
  • FNSEA and Jeunes Agriculteurs for France;
  • GAIA Epicherein for Greece;
  • Solidarność for Poland;
  • OCU and UPA for Spain;
  • Slow Food International representing Belgium; and
  • A NGO representing Sweden.

One of the goal of the partners’ committee is to keep open the doors for new partnerships, continuing to enlarge the number of organizations that could be interested in this issue and support the initiative. The partners’ committee foresees to host – next January 2019 in Brussels – a promotional event of the ECI at European level, that will represents the opportunity to formally present the Initiative to the EU Institutions and to all the relevant EU and international stakeholders of all the involved sectors – mainly agricultural, food and consumers sectors. 


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