E.U.: Political agreement of high quality food and drink products

The European Commission welcomes the political agreement reached today by the European Parliament and Council to review and strengthen the geographical indications (GIs) system for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products. The new Regulation will increase the uptake of GIs across the Union and will provide a higher level of protection, especially online. This will help to further develop the EU’s high food quality and standards, and ensure that our cultural, gastronomic and local heritage is preserved and certified as authentic within the EU and across the world.

The new Regulation on EU geographical indications for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products will strengthen and improve the existing GI system by:

  • introducing a single legal framework and a shortened, simplified registration procedure: different rules on GI procedures and protection are merged for the three sectors (food, wine and spirits), resulting in a single simplified GI registration procedure for EU and non-EU applicants. This simpler legal framework, with shorter registration times, is expected to increase the attractiveness of the schemes for producers, especially in countries with fewer GIs;
  • increasing protection of GIs as ingredients and online: the new rules will increase the protection of GIs used as an ingredient in a processed product and of GI products sold online. The new regulation will also protect GI names in the domain name system, obliging Member States to block from their territory domain names that may be infringing a GI name;
  • recognising sustainable practices: producers will be able to valorise their actions regarding environmental, economic or social sustainability, including animal welfare. The text agreed upon by co-legislators lists a non-exhaustive list of sustainability practices as an incentive to producers. This will contribute to better protecting natural resources and rural economies, securing local plant varieties and animal breeds, conserving the landscape of the production area and improving animal welfare. A producers’ group may decide to make some sustainable practices mandatory for their products. In this case, they should be included in the product specifications. On a voluntary basis, producers can also draw up a sustainability report that will be published by the European Commission;
  • empowering producers’ groups: the new measures will establish a voluntary system of recognised GI producer groups, to be set up by Member States. To increase the attractiveness of the system, such groups will be empowered to manage, enforce and develop their GIs to strengthen their position in the value chain.

The enforcement of GIs remains the responsibility of Member States. It includes controlling the proper use of registered terms and combatting fraudulent production, sale and use of GIs. The Commission remains responsible for the registration, amendment and cancellation of all registrations.  The political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission is now subject to formal approval by the co-legislators.


Geographical indications protect the names of products from specific regions and with specific characteristics, qualities or a reputation, against copying or fraud and certify that they were made to high standards in their region of origin. The most recent study on GIs found that the sales value of a product with a protected name is on average double that for similar products without a certification. In addition to valorising the EU’s culinary know-how, geographical indications bring clear benefits to the rural economy.

An evaluation  published in December 2021 showed that the existing framework is effective and provides a clear EU added value. However, it identified certain limits, such as complex legal structures and lengthy registration procedures, producers’ position in the value chain as well as low enforcement. It also highlighted that environmental sustainability and animal welfare could be further integrated.

The Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on EU geographical indications for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products was adopted on 31 March 2022, following a broad consultation process. An inception impact assessment was published in October 2020, followed by a public consultation, as well as targeted consultations with Member States and relevant organisations in the field.

On 1st October 2023, 3,552 names were registered: 1,656 wine names, 1,634 food and agricultural foodstuff names, and 262 spirit drinks. In February 2023, the Commission registered the 3 500th geographical indication. Famous geographical indications include, for example, Bayerisches Bier, Champagne, Irish Whiskey, Kalamata olives, Parmigiano Reggiano, Polish Vodka, Queso Manchego, Roquefort. Names of products registered as GIs are legally protected against imitation, misuse and evocation within the EU and in non-EU countries where a specific protection agreement has been signed. The Geneva Act related to geographical indications represents an additional, multilateral framework for their protection.

Source: European Commission