What is Protected Destination of Origin (PDO)?
Protected Destination of Origin (PDO) covers agricultural products and produce which are produced, process and prepared in a given geographical area. The raw materials must also be from the defined area whose name the product bears. The quality or characteristics of the product must also be exclusively from its place or origin i.e climate, nature of the soil and its local processing.
As the European Union is a leading producer of wine Producing some 175m hl every year, it accounts for 45% of wine-growing areas, 65% of production, 57% of global consumption and 70% of exports in global terms. From this it is essential that the quality of production is maintained at a superior level.
Within the countries which the Protected Geographical Status occurs, strong laws are enforced. Only products which meet the criteria may use the protected indication. It is prohibited to imply that a product meets the specific specifications, such as using distinctive packaging associated with the protected product. All issues are dealt at a high-level by Customs Regulations and infringing goods may be seized by customs on import and a jail term sentenced. In other words, to receive the PDO status, the entire product must be traditionally and entirely manufactured (prepared, processed AND produced) within the specific region and thus acquire unique properties
Why is this all so important? The regulations which are put into play are to reinforce the demand for high quality produce. It helps in the promotion and distinguishes between products that hold specific characteristics, particularly those coming from less-favoured or rural areas. These regulations help with the improvement of income to farmers who are ‘genuine’ in producing high quality produce.
France, Italy and Spain all have their own variations of the PDO system. In Italy the system is reffered to as DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita)
PDO labels denote that the product must be produced wholly from a explicit region and in a particular way. For example, a label for wine which is produced in Italy, may show that wine is made in a particular region by a specific grape and is farmed in a particular way.