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Place name piracy

30 September 2001

The EU wants to end the use of designations such as Parma Ham and Champagne, if these products are not produced in the Parma or Champagne regions.  The EU is keen to link market access arrangements to agreements protecting against what it considers piratical use of geographical designations.At the third special session of the WTO Committee on Agriculture in Geneva at the end of September 2001, the EU tabled proposals to protect "geographical indications". 

Editorial comment

In the recent South Africa-EU trade negotiations, disagreements over the use of geographical designations for Port and Sherry held up wider trade negotiations.  ACP countries can expect the EU increasingly to link market access agreements to protection of geographical designations of origin.  This could effect ACP producers who have developed specialized products where geographical designations have taken on a more general usage (e.g. Sherry, Parma Ham, Port etc).


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