Irish whiskey among the regional foods protected in EU-China agreement
The European Union and China have agreed to protect 100 European regional food names, known as geographical indications (GI), in China and 100 Chinese geographical indications in the EU, said a statement from the EU Commission on Wednesday.
The deal will include protecting the name of products such as cava, Irish whiskey, feta and prosciutto di Parma, as well as China's Pixian bean paste, Anji white tea and Panjin rice.
The deal significantly expands the number of foods protected by GIs from the 10 products on both sides that were agreed in 2012 and should help boost trade in higher value goods.
"It is a win for both parties, strengthening our trading relationship, benefitting our agricultural and food sectors, and consumers on both sides," said Agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan, who is currently visiting China.
Consumers are willing to pay more for GI products, he said, trusting the origin and authenticity of the goods.
The agreement still needs to be approved by the European Parliament and Council but is expected to enter into force before the end of 2020, said the statement.
It will be expanded to cover an additional 175 GI names from both sides four years after the current agreement.
EU agri-food exports to China were worth €12.8bn in the 12 months from September 2018 to August 2019.