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Protected and Certified Italian Products
Geographical indications and traditional specialities in the European Union for Italy
The European Union has protected and quality sealed the authenticity and quality of typical products to distinguish them from non-genuine, often inferior quality products that mislead consumers. Italy has the most protected products in Europe, identifying a variety of excellence in food products in terms of taste, authenticity and genuineness, with characteristics having roots in the areas of origin throughout Italy. The significance of “Area of origin” specifies a geographic environment, that is, a set of natural factors (climate, water, etc.), cultural and also historic components (production methods, traditions, etc.) some evolving up to 2000 years ago.
Purchasing, using or consuming DOP and IGP products means choosing quality, taste and goodness and making an informed choice to respect the environment, work and traditions. The labels on food-product packages are a useful tool for consumers guaranteeing quality and genuineness.
Indicazione Geografica Protetta (I.G.P.) or Protected Geographical Indication (P.G.I.)
The IGP seal is awarded to products from specific regions of Italy (and Europe). IGP guarantees a product originating from a particular region whose quality, recipe and characteristics can be traced back to its geographical origin. At least one production and/or processing phases must take place in the designated origin of production for the product to qualify for IGP, emphasising the production techniques applied.
The tools used, the production methods handed down from generation to generation and the production times are what is considered a guarantee of authenticity for each traditional IGP product. However, the ingredients can be imported from other locations, therefore, lowering the cost of production.
Denominazione di Origine Protetta (D.O.P.) or Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.)
DOP identifies a product according to its production methods and place of origin
Typical products and traditional processing
DOP identifies a product according to its production methods and place of origin. Unlike IGP, for a product to qualify for DOP, each step in the production of the products must be completed in the region of origin and produced according to traditional methods, from the cultivation of the raw material to the final finished product, ensuring a unique and inimitable product.
The products have extremely strict specifications that must be met in each step of production which are then examined by experts to ensure quality. DOP products can use the word Tradizionale (English: Traditional); IGP cannot.
The name of the product must also include the geographical area of origin and the product must meet certain requirements in terms of appearance, smell and taste; in other words a guarantee of its link to the Area of origin - DOP products, therefore, are much more valuable than IGP products.
Specialità Tradizionale Garantita (S.T.G.) or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (T.S.G.)
A trademark for an agricultural product or typical dish, which has certain features, distinguishing it from others in the same category. The product or dish must be manufactured using traditional ingredients or must be characteristic for its traditional composition, production process, or processing reflecting a traditional type of manufacturing. The product does not have to be manufactured in a specific geographical area but it must be traditional and different from other similar products.
The two products STG trademarked from Italy are Buffalo Mozzarella and Neapolitan Pizza.