The European Union and the People’s Republic of China signed an agreement concerning mutual protection of Geographical Indications, including the Polish vodka, which is the only product from Poland on the list.
Thanks to the bilateral agreement, Beijing obliged itself to protect a total of 100 European Geographical Indications, while Brussels – to protect the same number of Chinese indications.
Among European Geographical Indications that will be protected by the Chinese law, there is Polish vodka, Irish Whiskey, Italian ham Prosciutto di Parma, Cava (sparkling wine from Spain), Champagne (French sparkling wine from Champagne region), as well as traditional Greek cheese feta.
On the other hand, the EU will protect indications of such Chinese products as Pixian Douban (Pixian Bean Paste), Anji Bai Cha (Anji White Tea), Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Anqiu Da Jiang (Anqiu Ginger).
“European Geographical Indication products are renowned across the world for their quality. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price, trusting the origin and authenticity of these products, while also benefiting farmers. This agreement shows our commitment to working closely with our global trading partners such as China. It is a win for both parties, strengthening our trading relationship, benefitting our agricultural and food sectors, and consumers on both sides,” Phil Hogan, the outgoing Agriculture and Rural Development European Commissioner was quoted as saying in statement of the EC.
The bilateral agreement is now to go through legal procedures. The European Parliament and the European Council will then be asked to approve it. The agreement is expected to come into force before the end of the following year.
Polish Vodka protected
According to the Protected Geographical Indication, Polish vodka can be produced only with use of five traditional grains – wheat, rye, triticale, barley and oats – or, alternatively, with use of potatoes. All ingredients have to be grown in Poland.
Moreover, all stages of the production of the Polish vodka, except bottling, have to take place in Poland.
Poland is the largest producer of vodka in the EU and the fourth largest worldwide, preceded only by Russia, the US and Ukraine. According to Statistics Poland, Polish distilleries produced 945,000 hectolitres of vodka in 2018.