EU and China agree list of products to be protected under bilateral trade agreement
The European Union and China have concluded negotiations on a bilateral agreement that will protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GI) in China and 100 Chinese geographical indications in the European Union against imitation and usurpation, the European Commission announced on Wednesday.
Among the EU Geographical Indications to be protected in China are products such as Cava, Manchego cheese, Jerez brandy, Champagne, Feta cheese, Irish whiskey, Münchener beer, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Port and Parma ham. The agreement also provides for the protection of products of Chinese origin in the European Union. The list includes, for example: Pixian Dou Ban (Pixian Bean Paste), Anji Bai Cha (Anji White Tea), Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Anqiu Da Jiang (Anqiu Ginger)
At least one step in the production, processing or development of products with the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), like those covered by the China-EU agreement, must take place in the named geographical area. This differentiates the PGI from the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) label, which requires that all stages take place in that territory.
“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,” said Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
China is the second biggest market for EU agri-food exports, with sales of nearly 13 billion euros a year. It is also the second most important destination for exports of products protected as geographical indications.
The agreement, which is China’s first comprehensive, high-level bilateral agreement on GI protection, will have to get the green light from the European Parliament and the European Council. If it moves forward, it should take effect before the end of next year.