Commission Midday Express, 13 May 2011
The honey pomelo "Guanxi Mi You", the apple "Shaanxi ping guo" and the tea "Longjing Cha" have this week been formally registered as Protected Denominations of Origin (PDO) and the yam "Lixian Ma Shan Yao" as Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). They are part of the 10 Chinese product names to be protected in the EU register as part of the "10 plus 10" project.
At a meeting today, Mr Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, will hand over the registered GI certificates for these products to Mr Zhi Shuping, Chinese Minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ). The "10 plus 10 project" started in July 2007 when EU and China formally lodged applications for the protection of 10 agriculture GIs in each others' territories. While the geographical indications (GI) systems are similar, significant differences in procedures and linguistic problems had to be overcome. Before being approved, the applications are treated and examined by each side according to the exacting legal and administrative standards, including the right of any interested party to oppose registration.
Speaking ahead of the meeting Commissioner Ciolos said:"As my recent trip to China showed me, our system of GIs is very important for providing consumers with guarantees of quality, tradition and food safety, as well as giving producers protection from imitation and a useful marketing tool. Our shared goal is now to build on this success by putting in place a broader agreement on GI's, for the mutual benefit of farmers and consumers in China and Europe".
The 10 celebrated European products that will soon be registered in the official AQSIQ Chinese GI register are: Grana Padano; Prosciutto di Parma; Roquefort; Pruneaux d'Agen/Pruneaux d'Agen mi-cuits; Priego de Cordóba; Sierra Mágina; Comté; White Stilton Cheese/ Blue Stilton Cheese; Scottish Farmed Salmon and West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. On the EU side, five Chinese products have now received protected status: The four today as well as the vermicelli, Longkou Fen Si. For the five remaining "Dongshan Bai Lu Sun" (asparagus), "Jinxiang Da Suan" (garlic), "Pinggu Da Tao" (peach), "Yancheng Long Xia" (crayfish) and "Zhenjiang Xiang Cu" (vinegar) the protection procedure is ongoing.
For more information on the European system for geographical indications, see at http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_en.htm