Commission debates an EU-wide logo

07-02-2007 | | |

Promises have been made by EU Farm Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, to drive forward the idea of introducing an EU-wide labelling scheme or logo for high quality foods.

The Commissioner said it was time to “move things forward” on the issue, however, admitted the task would be difficult, adding that it is important to carry out further studies into the economics of how an EU label would work and to carefully consider how it would impact farm incomes and rural development.
“It sounds simple but it is desperately difficult,” Fischer Boel said. “I have realised the complexity of the issue.”
The Commissioner said she was not planning to step in with rules and regulations for a new label or logo but agreed that clear concise guidelines setting out what made a good quality food scheme would help farmers better communicate with consumers and give them access to key EU and non-EU markets.
“Quality logos are a good tool to promote quality but they only make sense when it is totally clear what they stand for. Each consumer must have the possibility to know what they mean,” Fischer Boel said.
But many farmers and producers are worried that an EU-wide logo may actually reduce the value of some quality or superior quality foods.
Moreover, any scheme would have to address any potential barriers to free movement of goods on the EU market. “We can’t have a brand or certification scheme that prevents other certification schemes from entering the market,” Fischer Boel said.
The Commissioner has long insisted that quality is the key to EU farmers thriving in an increasingly globalised market, and has fought to retain the system of GIs and introduce an international register for such quality food products.