New EU rules for Geographical Indications (GIs) will guarantee strong protection of spirit drinks and support bottom-up sustainability initiatives in producer communities
Brussels – 25 October 2023 – spiritsEUROPE congratulates the Council and the European Parliament for striking a final deal for new rules for the EU’s Geographical Indications (GI) system in agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines and spirit drinks. The new rules will ensure strong protection of spirits drinks and support comprehensive, bottom-up sustainability initiatives in producer communities.
With more than 250 different EU spirit GIs and GI spirits making up two-thirds of EU spirits exports, the Geographical Indications system is of fundamental importance for Europe’s spirits sector. Protecting long-standing local traditions whilst guaranteeing the highest production and quality standards, GI spirits are a hallmark of social, economic and environmental sustainability.
“We greatly appreciate that the new rules will strengthen GI protection, including online, and structurally support our shared sustainability ambition. GIs spirits are a best-case example of how comprehensive sustainability approaches can grow and develop organically over time in local communities which produce, enjoy, and share these high-quality products. The new rules will structurally support our continuous sustainability journey in the years ahead”, commented Ulrich Adam, Director General, spiritsEUROPE.
Sarah Melina Siebel, Director Internal Market and Sustainability, added: “Sustainability is a way of life deeply rooted in the terroir in which fine spirits are produced – and as diverse as European landscapes, climates and communities. Sustainability in the south of Spain may look different to sustainability in Germany’s Münsterland. The new rules will reinforce ambition on our shared sustainability objective, yet allow flexibility for different pathways to develop and progress locally.”
Other important points addressed in the revision have been the future role of GI producer groups both inside and outside the EU as well as the protection of GI spirits when used in foods and in the online environment, which is becoming increasingly important in times of increased e-commerce and online sales.
Note to editors
For more information, please contact: Sarah Melina Siebel – Director Internal Market & Sustainability - Tel: +32 499905258 – Siebel@spirits.eu
- spiritsEUROPE is the representative body for the spirits industry at European level comprising 31 associations and 11 international companies: www.spirits.eu.
- The success of European spirits is based on centuries of skill, tradition, ingredients of agricultural origin and secret recipes handed down through the generations. Irish Whiskeys, Cognac, Grappa, Polish Vodka, Deutscher Weinbrand, Ouzo and Genever are examples of the 250+ spirits registered as Geographical Indications (GIs) in Europe and cherished all around the world. GIs are a real driver of jobs and growth across Europe – particularly in rural areas where the bulk of Europe’s spirits production is located.