EU system of PDO/PGI

PDO and PGI products represent the excellence of European agricultural food production, and are both the result of a unique combination of human and environmental factors that are characteristic of a specific territory.

This is why the European Union dictates precise regulations for their protection, creating specific quality standard regimes that protect the good faith of the consumers and with the purpose of giving producers concrete instruments for identifying and promoting products with specific characteristics in a better way, as well as protecting them from unfair practices.

Regulation (EU) no. 1151/2012 (article 5) scrupulously describes the meaning of the acronyms PDO and PGI, specifying that:

The label PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) identifies a product that originates in a specific place, region or country, the quality or characteristics of which are essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment with its inherent natural factors (raw materials, environmental characteristics, location) and human factors (traditional and craft production) and the production, transformation and elaboration phases of which all take place in the defined geographical area, in respect of rigid production regulations established in the procedural guidelines of production.

The label PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) indicates a product that originates in a specific place, region or country, whose given quality, reputation or other characteristics are essentially attributable to its geographical origin, and for which at least one of the production steps takes place in the defined geographical area.

EU Organic products

The organic logo gives a coherent visual identity to European Union produced organic products sold in the EU. This makes it easier for EU based consumers to identify organic products and helps farmers to market them across all EU countries.

Based on current market growth, the increase in organic production over the last number of decades, and the vision that the EU organic movement has set itself, the organic sector still has huge potential to be a flagship for smart, sustainable and inclusive development. However, if the sector does not succeed in closing the gap between organic demand and supply, Europe may miss the chance to capitalise on the organic sector’s sustainable growth and investment potential.

In contrast to the development of organic farms across the EU, the number of organic processers increased considerably in 2018, with around 9,000 more organic processors than in 2017. Therefore, while organic food is a huge business opportunity for farmers, importers, retailers and processors the dynamic growth of the organic market has resulted in more and more importers and retailers stepping into organic businesses or expanding engagement with organic food. However, organic production is not moving at the same speed. As organic production in the EU lags behind the growth of the organic market, there is a severe risk that the growing demand will be met by imports and that EU farmers may not benefit.

The organic sector can do more in its own right to support organic food and farming development in the EU. Many relevant aspects have already been identified by the EU organic movement in its Organic Vision for Europe. These include:

Recalling the transformative nature of organic food and farming as a key to the further success of organic agriculture. This requires taking stock of what organic has become and how it can proactively face up to the new political, environmental and socioeconomic challenges facing the ago-food sector.


EU legislation sets strict criteria guaranteeing the standards of all European products.

Key figures on European quality policy are the Common Organization of Markets for agricultural products, the determination of common legislative frameworks of all the EU Member States to define together the specifications, the operating framework and the inspection regime, which ensure that the specifications are common to the whole European market. Cultivation and production methods meet international and European quality and safety standards. This recognition will diffuse into target markets.

Food safety

Food safety is a top priority for Europe. The main objective of the European Commission's food safety policy is to ensure a high level of protection of human health and consumer interests relating to food, taking also into account the diversity and the effective functioning of the internal market. Strict EU rules were tightened in 2000 to ensure that European food is extremely safe EU's integrated approach aims to ensure a high level of food safety, animal health and welfare and plant health in the European Union by taking consistent measures from farm to consumption and proper surveillance. EU authorities carefully evaluate risk and always seek the best possible scientific advice before prohibiting or allow any product, ingredient, additive or genetically modified organism This dissemination of knowledge will allow consumers to evaluate the EU products, to understand why so much emphasis on food safety is given and thus to lead them buy EU products rather than products imported from other countries.

Image / Appreciation of European products

The aim of the program is enhancing the positive image of European products, between target groups as defined, that have sufficient skills to receive and transmit the program messages. The signature "Enjoy it's from Europe" will be visible on all communication material produced as part of the communication basis of the action.

The content of this promotion campaign represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) do not accept any responsibility for any use that may be made of the information it contains