A pragmatic approach to the link to origin: EU PDOs and PGIs for registration, innovation and trade in origin products

This research analyses the specifications of EU and non-EU geographical indications (GIs) for agricultural products and foodstuffs registered in the European Union. A strong focus is given to the choice of the quality scheme and, in particular, whether this choice reflects the difference between the legal requirements for Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) under Art. 5 Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012.

The ‘pragmatic approach’, meaning a qualitative content analysis of over 1300 GI specifications and interviews with GI producers’ groups, shows a blurred difference between PDOs and PGIs and inquires into the causes and consequences for registration, innovation and trade.

In view of the ongoing EU GI reform, this research formulates policy recommendations on how to draw a clear distinction between PDOs and PGIs. The aim is to increase the clarity and understandability of the EU quality schemes for agricultural and non-agricultural products.

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