A quality certification is a recognition by third-party organizations that a product conforms to a predetermined production discipline and defined quality standards. Initially quality certifications only concerned wines that were recognized at national level. With the birth of the European Union valid certifications of wine products have spread all over Europe and EEC Regulation 2081/92 led to those for food products (cheese, meats, products of the earth ...).
The purpose of certification
The purpose of certification is to protect traditional products related to the area by reserving the exclusive use of the designation of origin.
The first one is food security, which must meet the same standards as all other food products placed on the market. The situation is different for the two other advantages; the nutritional and organoleptic qualities. The production rules may in fact increase some nutritional qualities. In general we can say that most of the certified products have above average organoleptic qualities because of their strong links with the terrain, allowing them to develop in ideal weather conditions and soil.
How to obtain certification
To achieve a (PDO, PGI or TSG, manufacturers must be associated with a public act, which communicates the will of product registration. The association of producers must prepare a specific policy document that includes the name of the product or food, the logo, the description (raw materials, chemical, physical, microbiological, organoleptic characteristics), the definition of the geographical area, the description of the method of production, the labeling elements. The application must be submitted to the Ministry of agricultural production MIPAF, if it is given a favorable opinion the application for registration and related documentation must be sent to the European Commission. The European Commission then proceeds to consider the request and, if the findings are positive, it publishes the essential elements of the application on the Official Journal.
Here underneath follow the quality marks.
PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)
The PDO was born (along with PGI) in 1992 thanks to the EEC Regulation 2081/92 of the European Community, and is valid only for food products (wine and alcoholic beverages not included). Among the brands is the one that requires the highest standards ever, reassuring the consumer.
PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)
The PGI provides standards less stringent than the DOP which then leads to a link with the territory more simple and with a more flexible production regulation. The characteristics that must be fulfilled in order to acquire this recognition the product must; be originated in that region, have a characteristic that links to that region and the production and / or processing and / or preparation must take place in the defined geographical area.
TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed in Italian: Indicazione Geografica Protetta)
Alongside the PDO and PGI, the European Community has also provided more general certifications. These include the TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed). The objective of this certification is to protect and define some productions not linked to the territory, introducing the concept of "Specificity of a food product" which aims to distinguish a product or foodstuff from other products or foods belonging to the same category. Then the specificity of the production is not essentially connected to the zone of origin, but to the recipe or to particular methods of production.
Certification for wines
There are the trademarks for wine DOC, DOCG, QWPSR.
The DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin)
This category includes wines in which the area of origin of the harvest of grapes for wine production is bounded, as required by the production rules.
The DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin)
The product specification is equal to DOC wines, but also the DOCG wines are subjected to a second examination by winemakers during bottling. After passing the test the Chamber of Commerce and the Consortium release filigree seals to producers, limited in number according to the hectoliters of product, to be placed on each bottle.
Quality wines or QWPSR
QWPSR indicates "quality wine produced in specified regions" and indicates a quality product known, the characteristics of which are tied to the natural environment and human factors predetermined by specific disciplinary. This category includes both the DOC DOCG offering two important safeguards: 1. assurance of good quality 2. the origin.