The EU and China has concluded negotiations on a bilateral agreement which will protect 100 European geographical indications (GI) in China, and 100 Chinese GI in the EU, against imitations and usurpation.
Geographical indications protect products against the misuse or imitation of the registered name, and guarantee the true origin of the product to consumers. The agreement is expected to result in reciprocal trade benefits and demand for high-quality products on both sides.
After the US, China is the second destination for EU agri-food exports, reaching €12.8 billion in the 12-month period between September 2018 and August 2019, according to the European Commission. It accounts for 9% of the total value of EU exports of products protected as geographical indications, including wines, agri-food products and spirit drinks.
Notable GI that will be protected in China thanks to the agreement include Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Münchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego.
Among the Chinese products, the list includes Pixian Dou Ban (Pixian Bean Paste), Anji Bai Cha (Anji White Tea), Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Anqiu Da Jiang (Anqiu Ginger).
Agriculture and rural development commissioner Phil Hogan commented: “European geographical indication products are renowned across the world for their quality. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price, trusting the origin and authenticity of these products, while further rewarding farmers. This agreement shows our commitment to working closely with our global trading partners such as China. It is a win for both parties, strengthening our trading relationship, benefitting our agricultural and food sectors, and consumers on both sides.”
Following the conclusion of the negotiations, the agreement is to go through legal scrutiny before it is finally approved, with the agreement expected to enter into force before the end of 2020. Four years after this entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover an additional 175 GI names from both sides.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019