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INTA Annual Meeting speakers discuss GIs and Italian food

“We now hand over to Paola Gelato of Studio Legale Jacobacci to talk about geographical indications in Italy. And I warn you, anyone that skipped lunch is going to find this difficult,” said chair Jaroslaw Kulikowski of Kulikowska & Kulikowski in Poland in yesterday’s session, Appellations d’Origine: Made in Europe. And so it proved.

Gelato ran the audience through some existing high-profile geographical indications (GIs) and the key cases that have formed legal practice on the issue. These included Pizza Napoletana, which recently received a Traditional Specialty Guaranteed (TSG) designation for its red, white and green toppings that mimic the Italian flag. Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is another example of a foodstuff with a TSG, which aims to protect traditional methods of manufacture rather than a particular region of origin.

Then it was onto the Balsamico di Modena and Salame Felino—important test cases—before Gelato explained that the Italian Consumer Protection Code was also a valuable tool in protecting GIs, as labels that mislead the consumer as to the origin of a product can lead to them being banned. Those products were honey, supposed to be from Mount Etna, and Lardo di Colonnata (bacon).

The talk was washed down with some Budweiser beer, both the Anheuser-Busch and Budvar varieties, as Gelato talked through the Italian leg of that series of cases, which led to the Budvar GI being rendered “null and void.”

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