European Union - An enhanced EU policy to help better communicate the quality of food products

Guaranteeing quality to consumers and a fair price for farmers are the twin aims of the "Quality Package" adopted today by the European Commission. This Quality Package sets up for the first time a comprehensive policy on certification schemes, value-adding terms for agricultural product qualities, and product standards. Until now these have been spread among numerous pieces of legislation. With this Package, the Commission covers all facets of quality, from compliance with minimum standards to highly specific products.
Friday 10 December 2010 (7 years 6 months 11 days ago)
Guaranteeing quality to consumers and a fair price for farmers are the twin aims of the "Quality Package" adopted today by the European Commission. This Quality Package sets up for the first time a comprehensive policy on certification schemes, value-adding terms for agricultural product qualities, and product standards. Until now these have been spread among numerous pieces of legislation. With this Package, the Commission covers all facets of quality, from compliance with minimum standards to highly specific products.

The Quality Package comprises:
• A proposal for a new 'Agricultural Product Quality Schemes Regulation', bringing coherence and clarity to the EU schemes: reinforcing the flagship scheme for protected designations of origin and geographical indications (PDOs and PGIs); overhauling the traditional specialities guaranteed scheme (TSGs), and laying down a new framework for the development of Optional Quality Terms to provide consumers with information they increasingly demand, such as 'free range'' and 'first cold pressing'.
• A proposal to streamline adoption of marketing standards by the Commission, including the power to extend place of farming labelling in accordance with the specificity of each agricultural sector.
• New Guidelines on best practices for voluntary certification schemes and on the labelling of products using geographical indications as ingredients.

The Quality Package is the first step in the overhaul agricultural product quality policy. It is the result of 3 years of extensive consultation and participation of stakeholders. It opens the way to a more coherent agricultural product quality policy. For the future, the Commission announced its intention to study further the problems faced by small-scale producers in participating in EU quality schemes as well as by mountain producers to market their products and to propose additional follow-up o the basis of this analysis, if necessary.

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/1692&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

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