EU: the Promotion Policy after 2015 – a tremendous opportunity for oriGIn to become “a match-making platform” for members interested in presenting joint proposals
A political agreement between the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament on the Regulation (EU) on information provision and promotion measures concerning agricultural products implemented in the internal market and in third countries and repelling Regulation (EC) No 3/2008, was reached on 1 April 2014.
The new Regulation (See the text ) aims at strengthening the competitiveness of the European agriculture through promotion. In this context. Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) are given a crucial role. oriGIn – which has been following the overall reform – will continue to be active on this issue.
On the one hand, given its privileged position of global network of GI groups and leveraging on the experience gained by some of its members that have already benefited from funds for promotion, oriGIn will work to become a truly “match-making” platform for GI groups from different EU countries interested in launching joint promotional campaigns, in particular in third countries. In this respect, the new Regulation will provide up to 80% of EU co-financing for multi programmes targeting third countries.
On the other hand, the EU Commission is currently drafting delegated and implementing rules for the promotion policy after 2015, and prepared a paper on simplification As a member of the European Civil Dialogue Group on Quality and Promotion, oriGIn will provide its comments to the European Commission, with the objective to contribute to reduce administrative burdens for all actors involved in promotional programs. If you wish to contribute to the oriGIn comments (if your group has already participated in EU promotion programs, getting your views will be crucial!), please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 October 2014.
ASEAN: GIs are gaining momentum
Vietnam counts today 38 registered geographical indications (GIs), ranking second after Thailand among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, which include among its members Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. Some 120 GIs are currently recognized within the ASEAN.
In this context, on 9 September 2014, an International GIs Exhibition was organized in Hanoi (Vietnam) by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam and the ASEAN Project on Intellectual Property Rights (ECAP III). Vietnamese and ASEAN GIs were present at the fair, such as Phu Quoc (fish sauce), Phuc Trach (grapefruits), Tan Cuong (tea), Hue conical hats, Myanmar algae, Lao coffee, Cambodian pepper, Malaysian silk and Bruneian frozen lamb.
oriGIn: Campaign on the Guidelines for “Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli” (STEC)
At the request of some Member States, the European Commission (DG Sanco) is currently working on the guidelines concerning the levels of risk for human health associated with STEC, a food-borne pathogenic bacteria. In December 2013, a first proposal – characterized by a strict application of the precautionary principle – was presented. Last week a new proposal was submitted which, in spite of some progress, remains problematic. The overall approach of the guidelines seems to be disproportionate with respect to the real health risk and could have a devastating economic impact on PDO/PGI raw milk production chains. Let’s recall here that guidelines are not legally binding, but contain general principles based on which each Member States must adopt specific policies. Such guidelines are to be approved by a committee composed by technical experts of DG Sanco.
In light of the above, oriGIn has been working for a more rational application of the precautionary principle, warning DG Agri and DG Sanco on the risks for PDO/PGI raw milk production chains (See the oriGIn Letter). Our Swiss, Spanish, Portuguese and French members provided their support in their respective countries, by raising awareness amongst sanitary authorities.
The validation of the above-mentioned guidelines has been postponed and the debate reopened at DG Sanco. Discussions on the issue will still be complex, as some EU Member States are convinced of the need of such measures to ensure consumer safety. oriGIn will thus continue to monitor such dossier.