In the early 1990s, the European Union decided to adopt a series of regulations to protect the quality of the typical and organic products from its member states’ territories, promoting the unique characteristics linked to their geographical origin as well as traditional know-how.
The European Union grants the geographical identification (GI) of the product name to products that have a specific link to the place where they are made. This GI recognition enables consumers to trust and distinguish quality products and guarantees that the production of the products follows the geographical and production specifications for each product.
A product registered as DOP/PDO means it has very strong links to the region and country in which it is made. Its specific qualities and characteristics are essentially or entirely due to the geographical environment (climate, soil, traditional production techniques) in which it is produced. This gives rise to a unique product which cannot be reproduced in any other territory than in the specific production area. The DOP/PDO label extends the protection of the product to the whole of Europe and, through the international trade agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO), also to the rest of the world. All DOP/PDO products have a yellow and red label with the writing “Denominazione d’Origine Protetta” or “Protected Designation of Origin.
Like DOP/PDO, the PGI label emphasises the relationship between the specific geographic region and the name of the product. At least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation must take place in the region. This means, for example that a product made in a recognised region can use raw materials from other areas. PGI Products have a yellow and blue label with the writing “Indicazione Geografica Protetta” or “Protected geographical indication”.
The TSG is quite different from the other two quality labels (DOP/PDO and PGI). It highlights solely the traditional aspects of the product such as the way the product is made or a typical recipe (at least 30 years old), without being linked to a specific geographical area. This means that the product can be made in any country in the European Union, as long as its production respects the certified production method. TSG products have a yellow and blue label with the writin “Specialità Tradizionale Garantita” or Traditional speciality guaranteed.