A landmark bilateral agreement was reached just last week between the European Union and China to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GI) in China (and 100 Chinese GI in the EU), “against imitations and usurpation,” according to ec.europa.eu.
This commitment was originally made in April of 2019 at the EU-China Summit, and the agreement is expected to boost trade and demand on both sides. China is currently the second leading destination for agri-food exports from the EU, and the second destination for exports from the EU of products with Geographical Indications.
Of the 100 GIs initially protected, 12 are Spanish. This includes Rioja, Cataluña, La Mancha, Cava, Navarra, Valencia and Valdepeñas wines, sherry wine, Manchego cheese, and olives oils from Sierra Mágina and Priego de Córdoba. Four years after the agreement enters into force, 175 designations of origin and geographical indications from Europe will be protected in China (and vice versa), of which 36 will be Spanish.
Said Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development: “European Geographical Indication products are renowned across the world for their quality. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price, trusting the origin and authenticity of these products, while further rewarding farmers. This agreement shows our commitment to working closely with our global trading partners such as China. It is a win for both parties, strengthening our trading relationship, benefitting our agricultural and food sectors, and consumers on both sides.”