To safeguard the best European food products the European PDO and PGI certifications were developed. These indications represent the flagships of a production unparalleled in the world that can boast of undeniable excellence with regard to the qualitative, nutritional and sensory profile. The PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) seals of quality, established by the European Community, protect agricultural and food products whose qualitative characteristics essentially or exclusively depend on their geographic environment.
Geographic environment refers to the sum of all the natural and human factors, including the production and transformation techniques that make the product unique and inimitable. They are products of extreme excellence, resulting from the application of rigorous production rules defined in specific regulations.
Compliance with these rules is constantly monitored by independent entities who certify that the standards are met. Every aspect of the production process is traceable and subject to tests to verify the raw materials used and guard against counterfeit products, so that the final quality of the products is completely guaranteed.
Protected Designation of Origin
In order for a product to be granted the PDO seal, all of the phases of production, transformation and processing must occur within a specific geographic area and in full respect of strict production rules established by the production regulations. By guaranteeing the entire production cycle and considering the multiple natural (e.g., raw materials, area of production, etc.) and human (e.g., production and transformation techniques and processes) factors therein, the PDO product achieves the status of a truly inimitable one of a kind item that cannot be reproduced outside its designated geographic area.
Starting with rules on how the olives are grown, through their harvesting and up to the packaging of the products, all of the production regulations for PDO olives must be rigorously respected in order to obtain the European recognition of quality. Even after the packaging, during the period it is marketed, further checks are run to guarantee the absolute compliance with the established safeguard standards.
Protected Geographical Indication
While the PDO is a certification applied to products whose entire production cycle, from the raw materials to the finished product, is carried out within a specified geographic area (and therefore cannot be reproduced outside of that area), the PGI recognition is instead a European mark of quality granted to agricultural and food products that have at least one phase of the production process that is permanently linked to the specific geographic area of reference.
For this case as well, producers must follow a set of rules established by the regulations that are similar to those for the PDO, and the products are constantly subject to independent verification bodies that oversee every aspect of the production process. Both the PDO and PGI seals are protected by European and national institutions and the strict respect of the rules of production, to guarantee the quality of the certified products to the consumers for the entire cycle of their production and marketing.
The term “organic agriculture” indicates a cultivation method that only allows the use of natural substances and excludes the use of synthesised chemical substances (fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides). Organic agriculture demands the development of a production model that avoids the excess exploitation of natural resources, with particular reference to the soil, water and air, and instead makes use of these resources within a model that can be sustained over time.