Since 1992 the European Union has taken major steps in promoting and protecting the names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs. It has launched two programmes in order to aid those objectives. These are the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products, which requires that the product has qualities or characteristics which are determined by the region of production as well as the mode of production, processing and preparation exclusively in the specific region, and the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), which covers agricultural products and foodstuffs closely linked to a specific geographical area, in which again the product can be produced, processed or prepared.
The growing competition at EU level as a result of the market being increasingly open to foreign products leads to unnecessary competition. Therefore, the benefits of acquiring protection under the two programmes are numerous since they enhance trading practices without external competition, as well as opening doors for economic opportunities.
Cyprus has applied for 5 products to be included in the two programmes and they have acquired a PDO and PGI status.
The sweet dessert wine known as ‘Commandaria’ holds a protected designation of origin (PDO) within the European Union as well as the United States and Canada. By Cypriot legislation passed on March 2, 1990, long before Cyprus became a member of the EU, commandaria is only produced in a collection of 14 neighbouring villages in the area of Troodos.
In the category of alcoholic drinks, ‘Zivania’ and ‘Ouzo’ acquired protection as PGI while the latter is valid for Greece as well.
What is well known as ‘Turkish Delight’ is actually a Cypriot product, known as ‘Loukoumi Geroskipou’. The filing of the application for PDO came in 2003 by Aphrodite Geroskipos Delights Ltd while the approval came on the 15th of December 2007.
The ‘Koufeta Amygdalou Geroskipou’, or sugared almonds, acquired protection as a PGI product after an application on the 7th of September 2004 was made by the Association of Producers of Traditional Delicacies of Geroskipou.
The application for a PGI for ‘Pafitiko Loukaniko’ received ‘published’ status from the EU on 6 June 2015. The special recipe of the Pafos sausage passed on from generation to generation to the citizens of Pafos and still exists today forming an integral part of the local tradition.
The ‘Glyko Triantafyllo Agrou’ made from rose petals was approved as a PGI on 21st of June 2016 and the uniqueness of this sweet involves a special variety of rose petals, R. Damascena, which flourish only in Agros District.
The European Commission approved on 3rd of August 2016 the Cyprus taro as a PDO and PGI product. The special characteristics of its cultivation made ‘Kolokasi of Sotira’ qualify for both programmes.
Cypriot products that are pending for approval for PDO and PGI status are: Halloumi, the meat products hiromeri, posyrti, sausage and lountza of the area of Pitsilia, as well as rosewater of Agros.