The controversy surrounding the borrowing of well-known names based on geographical origin and long-standing, often centuries-old traditions by producers and sellers of substitutes or natural stones from other regions is nothing new. As the clash of various interests can go on infinitely, the European Commission has now decided to launch a consultation procedure on whether it makes sense to introduce protection for non-agricultural products as part of an efficient and transparent EU system for protecting geographical indications.
Non-agricultural, because the protection of indications of origin relating to foodstuffs has already existed on the EU market since some time ago. Parma ham, Bordeaux wine or ‘oscypek’ from the Podhale region are commonly associated with specific places, and any attempts to use the name end in criminal proceedings.
Since this topic is raised at every meeting organised by Euroroc, I present below the current position, which describes the opinions arising in correspondence and at meetings.
The issue affects many links in the industry: from quarrying companies, to importers, wholesalers, to stonemasons and points of sale. First of all, if this regulation comes into force, natural stones with false names (for example: Calacatta Marble, from somewhere other than Carrara) will no longer be able to be imported into the EU, nor sold here under that name.
From the stonemasons’ point of view, the practices of the ceramic and concrete products industries are even more problematic, where naming their products after natural stones often misleads consumers. Many examples in DIY stores are eloquent testimony to this.
The European Commission is currently inviting us to participate in a public consultation on EU-wide protection for geographical indications for non-agricultural products.
The consultation, available in the official languages of the EU, will run for 12 weeks, up to and including 22 July 2021. The aim of the consultation is to gather the views of all interested parties who will have the opportunity to comment on the problems related to the existing legal protection in the internal market of the authenticity of non-agricultural products, linked to their geographical origin, the benefits and risks of EU action, the protection options available, including the control and enforcement in the future of the EU system of protection for such products and the possible consequences of such a policy.
Euroroc has asked us to provide this information to stone companies – members of the PAC – so that they can also express their opinion. Through Kurier Kamieniarski we are doing this more widely among all companies in the sector.
Responses should be submitted by 22 July using the link www.kamieniarze.org.pl. Please share your opinion with us!
Source: Kurier kamieniarski
Author: Krzysztof Skolak PZK | Published: 12.05.2021