JEFTA, open letter to the consortia of our PDOs and PGIs.


Open letter on the

Europe-Japan Partnership Agreement, JEFTA, and its possible effects on q



It is intended to highlight with this letter la severe criticalityà ofl’Union E Partnership Agreementuropean – Japan (JEFTA), with regard specifically to the protection Of quality agri-food productionsà Italian and European.

European Union is moving at a fast pace toward the conclusion of the


largest and most extensive international partnership agreement ever concluded

to date, following lengthy negotiations conducted under secrecy and above all without consulting or taking into account the legitimate interests of the social partners only virtually represented.

In view of the signing of this Agreement, scheduled for July 11, 2018, it is essential to consider the following:

  • l’
    understanding is not limited to regulating tariff issues, but has much broader effects on

    agriculture, food security and protection of Geographical Indications


  • the Agreement significantly reduces the level of protection of quality agri-food production


    which still express the cultural and economic Value of agriculture and food processing in Europe

The European model of recognition and protection

of Geographical Indications against imitation, usurpation
d evocation of protected names has been developed over the past four decades with democratic regulatory instruments and authoritative interpretations by the EU Court of Justice

The renunciation of such a system of protection cannot be accepted With the signing of an agreement that instead authorizes la counterfeit del 94% of the Geographical Indications protettand in Europe, including allowing the use of individual terms that are also part of the few protected designations (e.g., Parmigiano, Grana, Mortadella).

The explicit recognition of legitimacy of use of the name ‘Parmesan or the like constitutes evidence, if ever there was a need, that the negotiation pursued by the Commission follows a model antithetical to existing quality schemes in Europe, and is bound to produce serious damage to the reputation and trade of authentic products.

The European Commission’s excess of power is moreover destined to recur in other ongoing negotiations with important international economic partners and will lead to the final dismantling of the safeguards introduced in Europe to protect traditional as well as territorially rooted agri-food chains. Inflicting further damage on operators already burdened by the downsizing of the Common Agricultural Policy and the business practices put in place by modern distribution and global ecommerce giants.

Geographical Indications can already


now find recognition in Japan

, conversely, under Japan’s Japanese Geographical Indications Law.
to which he has already


appealed by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma DOP, among others.
). A protection ‘de minimis‘, which should be fostered through a system of mutual recognition of each other’s specialties. Instead of legitimizing, as is about to happen,

their usurpations and counterfeits.

Food safety is another aspect neglected in the text of the understanding, which does not even mention the precautionary principle on which European food law is based. Gthem standard Japanese



animal welfare, maximum residue levels (MRLs) tolerated in foods

, are far behind those achieved in Europe in recent years

In conclusion, we invite the consortia of protection

and other entities in address
want to take an immediate position in Europe on the JEFTA Agreement.
, demanding the revision of the clauses complained of in the above narrative. It is essential to take action before the European ratification process is concluded, as l’
approval of the text falls under the exclusive competence of the
E and its entry into force is therefore not subject to ratification by individual member states.

For more detailed discussion, please refer to the following. a what has already been published by Great Italian Food Trade, on


Lawyer Dario Dongo

Ph.D. in European food law

To the Consorzi di tutela delle DOP e IGP in Italy.

To the industry and SME sector associations

To the agricultural confederations in Italy

And, for your information,

To the Slow Food and Qualivita Foundations.

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.