Published on Wednesday 14th March 2012

One step closer for Waterford Blaa – Coveney

-  other food producers encouraged to explore advantages of protected designations

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D., today announced that following a successful national consultation, the Waterford Blaa application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) has been submitted by his Department to the European Commission for scrutiny.  Marking this important step, Minister Coveney declared “Waterford Blaa is a fine example of a product with qualities and reputation linked to a region”. Encouraging other food producers to follow this route to achieve market advantage Minister Coveney said that “The EU PDO/PGI system is a way of designating and protecting agricultural products with a particular link to an area. I encourage groups of producers to explore the options available with my Department”.

The Waterford Blaa application is now included on the European Database for Protected Designations, the DOOR Database and the process of European scrutiny has begun. The European Commission will examine the application and assess whether it meets the conditions laid down in Council Regulation (EC) N0 510/2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products.  

Notes for Editor

The schemes protect particular product names which are linked to a particular territory or to a production method.  The products themselves do not have to be unique, yet the applications must show how the characteristics of the region – topographic, savoir faire, reputation, natural resources – have an impact on the characteristics of the product. Registration affords producers the protection against imitation and use of the name outside the region.

Products of Designated Origin (PDO)
ü  The product/foodstuff originates in the defined geographical area
ü  Quality or characteristics are essentially or exclusively due to the particular geographical environment with its inherent natural and human factors
ü  The production, processing and preparation of the agricultural product or foodstuff takes place within the defined geographical area
Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
ü  The product/foodstuff originates from the defined geographical area
ü  Possess a specific quality, reputation or other characteristics attributable to the defined geographic area
ü  At least one stage of production, processing and preparation of the agricultural product or foodstuff takes place within the defined geographical area

Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG) – Traditional foodstuffs with distinctive inherent characteristics
ü  A product with traditional composition and mode of production.
ü  Has “Special Character” – a characteristic or set of characteristics which distinguishes an agricultural product/foodstuff clearly from other similar products or foodstuffs of the same category
ü  Is “Traditional” – proven usage of the product/foodstuff over time. For the purposes of this scheme this time period is generally ascribed to as one human generation, i.e. at least 25 years.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is the competent authority in Ireland.
Four products are currently registered in Ireland:

   Connemara Hill lamb ; Uain Sléibhe Chonamara  PGI
   Timoleague Brown Pudding  PGI
   Imokilly Regato  PDO
   Clare Island Salmon  PGI

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