More protection for Parmigiano-Reggiano and better production management

The Consortium praises the Agricultural Committee in the European Parliament

Reggio Emilia, 22nd June 2011  “We are satisfied, very satisfied, because after years of requests and waiting, this deed finally paves the way for a more effective protection of agri-food specialities such as Parmigiano-Reggiano and all PDO and PGI products, which represent an extraordinary wealth for our country”.

This is how Giuseppe Alai, Chairman of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium, commented on the approval of the “Quality Package” on agricultural products before the Agricultural Committee in the European Parliament. 
The step taken by the Committee chaired by MP Paolo De Castro is extremely significant. Indeed, in terms of protection, the approach is becoming that of a protection defined ‘ex-officio’ with the EU Member States committed to monitoring and imposing respect within their territory for the protected designations coming from other countries.

“This is evidence of great responsibility,” underlines Alai, “that acknowledges the meaning of the repeated requests submitted by our Consortium and by Aicig (the Association gathering the main Italian PDOs and PGIs), paving the way for a protection system that is no longer based only on the activity of protection bodies against counterfeits and fraud, but on the Member States’ obligation to take action in a reciprocity perspective, thus as a true European Community”.

“We are very grateful,” Alai adds, “to the MPs De Castro,  Herbert Dorfmann and Giancarlo Scottà, members of the Agricultural Committee and advocates of the project, for their commitment as well as for the result which may have an impact on the protection of PDOs and PGIs at a world level, eliminating cases of imitation, counterfeiting and improper use of designations that damage products, such as our own Parmigiano-Reggiano, which enjoy worldwide recognition and fame”.
Yet the Consortium’s satisfaction extends even further.

“The decision of the Agricultural Committee in the European Parliament,” Alai stresses, “also leads to a first step towards the adoption of requests made by the whole system of Protection Bodies on the control of production volumes to balance supply and demand, thus guaranteeing a more effective protection of producers’ revenues”.

“With the aim of creating better conditions for the stability and operation of the PDO and PGI market,” explains Leo Bertozzi, the Consortium’s Director, “the package approved by the Agricultural Committee in the European Parliament enables the Members States to define the rules for managers of these products to match production and demand, thus fully understanding the meaning of the work that we have been developing for years through production plans”.

“Obviously,” Bertozzi points out, “this rational production management mustn’t hinder competition on the domestic market, nor set up a barrier for new market players or negatively affect small producers; we are certain that these shared rules will be beneficial for all, since an orderly management of production flows is a prerequisite to guarantee growth based on the protection of producers’ revenues and, consequently, and amongst other things, on the possibility of increasing investment opportunities”.