San Daniele for Canada. With 408 votes in favour, 254 against and 33 abstentions, CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada) was approved by the European Parliament. It aims at increasing trade in goods and services, increasing investment, protecting agricultural products and social standards, between the two realities.
The adoption of this agreement, in provisional application starting from April 2017, will protect more than 140 European geographical indications of food and drinks for sale on the Canadian market. Of all the protected brands provided by the negotiations and acknowledged by Canada, 41 are Italian Geographical Indications, including ‘Prosciutto di San Daniele’. They represent the greatest value of the protected products recognised in the agreement.
CETA will recognise the right to market on the Canadian market European agri-food products covered by the agreement, using their names, because they contain the geographical indications of origin and provenance. As a matter of fact, in Canada, as it happens in many other Countries in the world, there is no system of acknowledgement and protection of food products with geographical origin. This meant that, in the Seventies, 'San Daniele' brand was registered by a Canadian company, thus blocking, in fact, the registration of the original product from Friuli, which in Canada had to be exported under the name ‘Authentic Italian ham’.
Once entered into force, the agreement will allow the coexistence of the two brands on the market, 'Canadian San Daniele’ and original ‘Prosciutto di San Daniele’, with their respective identification symbols on packaging, for a more immediate recognition and full protection of the consumer, for whom it will be easier to choose the desired product.
The fundamental stage of negotiations for the acknowledgement in Canada of the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) of Italy and Europe dates back to 2013. It was reached thanks to the Free Trade agreement between the President of the European Commission, who at that time was Manuel Barroso, and the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. Mario Cichetti, Director of ‘Consorzio del Prosciutto di San Daniele’ Consortium, explains: 'It is valuable agreement for PDO San Daniele Ham, because the protection of our product allows supporting this sector and promoting exports. For us, this is a major step forward, which opens new opportunities for growth in the Canadian market, thanks to values shared with the wide and well rooted community of Italian origin, which includes 140,612 residents in the Country, almost equal to 3% of the approximately 9 million Italians who live abroad'.