/javascript" src="../static/js/analytics.js"> CalTrade Report - EU Agrees on Food Brand Names - EU Agrees on Food Brand Names - Intense negotiations lead to a list of famous and pirated? names worthy of protection CalTrade Report Asia Quake Victims Forty-one products including Parma ham, Roquefort cheese, and Rioja and St. Emilion wine make the list, as does the oft-scorned Liebfraumilch; US calls the move market-limiting protectionism.? - Forty-one products including Parma ham, Roquefort cheese, and Rioja and St. Emilion wine make the list, as does the oft-scorned Liebfraumilch; US calls the move market-limiting protectionism.? - EU Agrees on Food Brand Names  - EU Agrees on Food Brand Names

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

 

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EU Agrees on Food Brand Names

Intense negotiations lead to a list of famous and pirated? names worthy of protection

BRUSSELS - EU governments have ended weeks of squabbling and agreed on a list of 41 famous food and drink names such as Parma ham and Rioja wine that they believe should have worldwide brand protection, reports Reuters.
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The bloc hopes to win backing for its menu of gastronomic treasures to be protected under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules: a quest slammed by many of the bloc's trading partners as thinly disguised protectionism, worsening access to EU markets.
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Time had been running short for an agreement on a list to hand to EU negotiators before they jet off to Cancun, Mexico, for the WTO session that starts on September 10, where principles on liberalizing global farm trade should be agreed.
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According to the European Union's Executive Commission, the final list represents not only the most valuable items but also those most widely pirated overseas: drinks like Chablis, Champagne and Cognac, and the cheeses Gorgonzola and Manchego.
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"Together with our allies, the EU will do its utmost to achieve better protection for regional quality products, from Europe's Roquefort cheese to India's Darjeeling tea, from Guatemala's Antigua coffee to Morocco's Argan oil in the WTO talks," said European Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler.
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"This is not about protectionism. It is about fairness. It is simply not acceptable that the EU cannot sell its genuine Italian Parma ham in Canada because the trademark 'Parma Ham' is reserved for a ham produced in Canada," he said.
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Weeks of meetings of the EU's influential trade committee led to stalemate, with increasingly bitter demands by member states for more of their national favorites to be included.
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In July, for example, Greece threatened to reject the entire list if it failed to include Feta cheese, Kalamata olives and, if possible, the aniseed liquor Ouzo. In a diplomatic victory for Athens, both Feta and Ouzo were added, but not Kalamata.
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France asked for seven more of its products to be added but withdrew Neufchatel cheese when it won acceptance of Beaujolais and St Emilion wines. Spain fought successfully for its Mancha saffron, while Britain agreed to remove Blue Stilton cheese.
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Perhaps the biggest surprise on the list is Liebfraumilch, a late demand from Germany for its most exported wine. Sweet, cheap and generally looked down upon by connoisseurs, the white wine's origins date from the 16th or 17th century.
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The idea of granting global protection for certain products has infuriated some of the EU's major WTO partners, especially the US - which sees Europe's insistence on using geographical labels as a means to restrict market access.
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But the European Commission denies this charge, saying its top food products are in urgent need of protection to stamp out overseas piracy that occurs at the cost of EU producers.
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However, opponents of Brussels' stance on the labels - among them the free-market advocates gathered in the Cairns Group of countries - say many names that the EU wants to protect are already generic terms in consumers' minds.

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