New 'Fair Price' Regulation Arrives04 January 2013
EU - Guaranteeing quality to consumers and a fair price for farmers are the twin aims of the new Council Regulation on quality schemes for agricultural products that came into force January 3.
The new regulation simplifies several quality schemes and creates a more robust framework for the protection and promotion of quality agricultural products.
Based on the Commission's 2010 proposal, it provides consumers with information on products' characteristics, protects product names from misuse and imitation and encourages the diversification of agricultural production.
"The strength of European agricultural production lies in its diversity, in the know-how of farmers, and in the soil and territories of production", said Dacian Ciolos, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
"Farmers, who are under pressure from the economic downturn, concentration of retailer bargaining power, and global competition, need the tools to better communicate about the quality of their products to consumers," added Dacian Ciolos.
Key elements include : more coherence and clarity, reinforcing the existing scheme for protected designations of origin and geographical indications (PDOs and PGIs), among others with faster registration procedures; simplifying and strengthening the traditional specialities guaranteed scheme, and creating the optional quality term "mountain product".
In addition, the Commission is asked to report to the European Parliament and to the Council on local farming and direct sales, as well as on the potential new optional quality term "product of island farming".