Food labelling e-learning course


Protected designation of origin, Protected geographical indication and Traditional speciality guaranteed logos

The EU Protected Food Name (PFN) scheme is designed to protect foodstuffs and agricultural products which possess characteristics attributable to the geographical area, production or processing methods used. The system covers a wide variety of foodstuffs as laid down in the legislation but excludes wines and spirit drinks which are covered by separate similar schemes.

The controls, which are based around the registration of particular names to render them 'protected', are intended to support agricultural and processing activities associated with high-quality products. As such, they contribute to the achievement of the EU's rural development policy objectives.

The quality schemes

Four types of protected names have been established under the general legislation:

  • Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) - identify a product as originating in a particular area which, due to its geography and associated natural and human factors, imparts particular qualities or characteristics to that product; all the production takes place in the defined geographical area, which in exceptional cases can be as large as a whole country.
  • Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) - identify a product as originating in a particular area, which may be a whole country; the product's given quality, reputation or other characteristic must be attributable to this area and at least one of the production steps must take place in the defined area.
  • Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG) - identify a product made according to a traditional practice or produced from traditionally used ingredients; the name must have been traditionally used to refer to the specific product or identify the traditional or specific character of the product.
  • Optional quality terms - these terms must relate to a characteristic of one or more types of food or to a farming or processing attribute which applies in specific areas, where the term additionally has a European dimension and adds value to the product compared with similar products.

1 of 6