AOP, IGP and other origin indications: how can the geographic origin of our products be identified with certainty?
Today more than ever, knowledge of the origin of products is the focus for more and more citizens…and it is sometimes difficult to find out!
Today more than ever, knowledge of the origin of products is the focus for more and more citizens.. and it is sometimes difficult to find out!In recent months, indications of origin and protected geographic indications have been in the news since they constitute one of the main challenges discussed in the context of transatlantic treaty negotiations (notably the TTIP between the European Union and the USA or the CETA, negotiated between the Union and Canada).This challenge mainly affects market stakeholders as well as consumers wanting to know the geographic origin of the products they consume, along with farmers, restaurant owners, defenders of territorial protection and/or the environment, as well as many others. This challenge also relates to many facets of the law such as intellectual property, competition law and consumer protection.Our company is a member of a competition law research association which, next October, will participate in a conference organised by the LIDC (International League of Competition Law). During this conference, at which many nations will be represented, two topics concerning competition law will be covered. One of them concerns designations of origin and has been examined by Ms Claire HAZEE, who has prepared, in this context, an inventory of the Belgian regulations applicable to this matter. This work concerns the designations of origin in its broadest sense, which is to say: any indication on a product or service intended to relate the latter to its geographic origin; such as AOP, IGP, collective labels or brands, for example. This work will be presented during the international conference.The different states represented will discuss this issue and these discussions will lead, we hope, to proposed resolutions to be submitted to the European Commission. We hope that our work will contribute to the advancement of this debate. We will be present at the conference and will attend discussions to represent Belgium.The next edition of the Congress of Geneva will be held next October.