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FOOD AND HEALTH ESSENTIALS

Your regular update for technical and industry information

EU/Chinese geographical indications of origin may gain protection

The European Union (EU) and China have agreed to consider reciprocal protection for 200 separate geographical indications of origin in their respective jurisdictions.

The protection of geographical indications of origin are intended to prevent counterfeiting or fraudulent imitations of a variety of food products and drinks that are closely identified with specific geographic regions, such as champagne and feta cheese from the EU (the Champagne region of France and from Greece, respectively), or Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Yantal Ping Guo (Yantal apple) from China. 

According to a press release issued in early June by the EU Commission, the EU and China have each identified 100 geographical indications that will be considered for protection under a bilateral agreement currently being negotiated between the two economic giants. If approved under the agreement, the newly protected geographical indications would help to bolster demand for products from those regions in both jurisdictions.

The EU Commission estimates that EU food products from the more than 3300 EU geographical indications that have been registered account for about 54 billion euros in annual trade value, and represent 15 percent of total EU food and drink exports.

The text of the EU Commission’s press release on the expansion of geographic indication protections is available here.

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