WTO Polarised on GI Extensions as EU System Grows
At the same time, the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the European Union (CIAA) released its annual report targeting the EU's geographical indications system as needing a "fundamental" review. CIAA is concerned that the system's credibility as a quality assurance scheme is being undermined by the vast number of applications for trademark protection under the system:
The EU instruments of Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) protect a product's name and are based on specific quality standards and methods of production. Currently, almost 700 PDOs and PGIs have been registered in the EU. More than 200 cases are still awaiting registration. There has been a rapid increase in the number of registered names and insufficient
assurances concerning the specific requirements and characteristics of such products.
The large numbers of PGI and PDO products already registered, along with
the numerous cases still pending remain a matter of concern for the industry. It
may make PDO and PGI products more commonplace. There is also a risk that PDO or PGI labelled foodstuffs will lose not only credibility, but also their comparative advantage.