Regulation on EU Geographical Indications (GIs) including spirit drinks

In early 2022, the European Commission presented its comprehensive proposal to review the current legislation applicable to Geographical Indications (GIs). The proposal goes back to the clear call for action by Commission President von der Leyen to Commissioner Wojciechowski in 2019, when she stated in her mission letter the need to fining ways “to strengthen the system of geographical indications… our cultural, gastronomic, and local heritage (…) across the world”.  

The call for action comes as no surprise, as Europe offers renowned rich and diverse food and drink products, such as the ca 250 GI spirit drinks. GI spirit drinks ensure in a unique way the protection of tradition and the ‘terroir’. They contribute to innovation whilst maintaining highest product and production standards in consumer safety and environmental protection.  

Via GI products, European cultural and culinary heritage is promoted across the world, contributing significantly to national budgets. Thus, GI spirit drinks are inherently sustainable from an economic, social, and environmental perspective. 

The objective of the European Commission is to strengthen the geographical indications schemes for all agricultural sectors and to improve their contributions to sustainable production through the revised legislative framework and at the same time maintain a specific framework for the uniqueness of spirit drinks.

Whilst being overall supportive to the European Commission’s approach, we have concerns regarding four specific areas :

  1. Producer Groups  
  1. Sustainability  
  1. GI protection  
  1. The role of the European Intellectual Property Office – EUIPO 

Click here to read our detailed position paper and amendementsemsnt suggested by spirits producers

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