Geographical indications, organic production and other quality schemes

Quality schemes for food products are intended to help the producers to communicate to consumers the value-adding attributes of their product.
In fact, geographical indications, organic certifications, national quality systems, collective and certification marks ensure:

  • Fair competition for farmers and producers of agricultural products and foodstuffs having value-adding characteristics and attributes

  • The availability to consumers of reliable information pertaining to such products

A qualified legal support is essential when trying to establish a new protected designation, to access a quality system or protect a certified product from unfair competition. CibusLex meets this needs, in the scope of all the quality systems listed below.

  • Protected designation of origin, protected geographical indication and traditional specialty guaranteed

    Product names registered as PDO are those that have the strongest links to the place in which they are made, since:

    • Le qualità o caratteristiche del prodotto derivano, essenzialmente, dal territorio di origine e dai suoi fattori naturali (es. clima) e umani (es. tecniche produttive tradizionali)

    • Le fasi di produzione si svolgono tutte in tale territorio

    Le Indicazioni Geografiche protette (IGP) identificano prodotti originari di un determinato territorio e legati – anche se in modo meno intenso – a tale origine geografica, essendo sufficiente:

    • The quality or characteristics of the product are essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment with its inherent and natural and human factors.

    • Every part of the production, processing and preparation process must take place in the specific region

    Geographical Protected Indication (GPI) emphasizes the relationship between the specific geographic region and the name of the product, even though less strong than PDO, where:

    • A particular quality, reputation or other characteristic is essentially attributable to its geographical origin

    • At least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation takes place in the region

    Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) highlights the traditional aspects such as the way the product is made or its composition, without being linked to a specific geographical area. The name of a product being registered as a TSG protects it against falsification and misuse.

    According to Regulation (EU) No. 1151/2012, the use of registered names such as PDO, GPI and TSG is only for products complying with production regulations under a strict control system.
    For all other products, the use of the registered name as well as any imitation or evocation, and any other misleading indication is not allowed.
    The rules provided for in Regulation (EU) No. 1151/2012 shall apply without affecting existing EU regulations, as listed below:

    • Spirit drinks, as defined in Regulation (EC) No. 110/2008 (replaced by regulation EU No. 2019/787 effective from May 25, 2021);

    • Wines, as defined by regulation (EU) No. 1308/2013 and implementing provisions;

    • Aromatized wines, subject to regulation (EU) No. 251/2014.

  • Organic production

    Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production under Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007 [replaced by Regulation EU No. 2018/848 effective from 21 January 2021] and by Regulation (EC) No. 889/2008, based on the following pillars:

    • Respect for nature’s systems and cycles and the sustainment and enhancement of the state of the soil, the water and the air, of the health of plants and animals, and of the balance between them

    • The preservation of natural landscape elements

    • The responsible use of energy and natural resources

    • The appropriate design and management of biological processes, based on ecological systems and using natural resources which are internal to the management system

    • Exclude the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

    • The restriction of the use of external inputs to the farm

    • Exclude the use of of synthetic chemical agents (fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides)

    • The observance of a high level of animal welfare respecting species-specific needs

    The use of the term “organic” and its derivatives and diminutives, such as “bio” and “eco”, may be used for the labelling and advertising of products referred to and in compliance with the Regulation mentioned above.

  • National integrated production quality system

    Integrated production is a production system that uses all means of production and defends agricultural production from adversity, aimed at minimizing the use of synthesis chemicals and rationalizing fertilization in compliance with ecological, economical and toxicological principles.
    The National Integrated Production Quality is a certification scheme which aims to enhance the agricultural production of vegetables obtained in compliance with the regional integrated production regulations.
    The SQNPI, established by Italian Law No. 4/2011, aims to identify and certify the food and farming products obtained using integrated farming techniques.
    Technical standards are defined by regional specifications, in compliance with national guidelines.
    Also, in some areas of Italy, the SQNPI is enforced alongside regional quality systems, such as “Agriqualità” by Tuscany Region, “Qualità verificata” by Veneto Region, “Qualità Trentino” and “Qualità Alto Adige” by Autonomous Province of Trento and South Tyrol, respectively, and “Qualità controllata” by Emilia-Romagna Region.

  • Certification and collective marks

    Collective marks are specific signs registered by public entities or company associations that indicate the commercial origin of certain goods and services by informing the consumer that the producer of the goods or the service provider belongs to a certain association and that it has the right to use the mark. They are often used to identify products or services of producers that belong to the same association and that are compliant with the requirements laid down in the regulation.

    Certification marks, on the other hand, relate to the guarantee of specific characteristics of certain goods and services.
    They can be registered by natural or legal persons, even institutions, authorities and certification bodies, provided that they do not run a business involving the supply of the goods and services of the kind certified.
    Both certification and collective marks represent an important tool that can be used by food companies to inform and build consumer confidence about the origin and/or characteristics of their products, including their geographical origin.
    The above mentioned signs can be registered, alternately, as Italian marks in conformity with Legislative Decree No. 30/2005 (Industrial Property Code), or as EU marks, in compliance with Regulation (EU) No. 2017/1001.

Services provided by the firm

The Firm can offer its legal support to companies, groups of companies and consortiums in order to help them create and manage their quality systems, in particular:

  • Registering a PDO, PGI or TSG, both for drafting the product specification and keeping the relations with the relevant public authorities

  • Ensuring their compliance with production, labelling and sales rules for organic products as well as National and Regional Quality Systems

  • Planning and registering effective collective and certification trademarks, and drafting their regulation

  • Helping companies in the development of new marks, denominations, company names, labels in compliance with PDO, PGI and other existing quality regimes

  • Managing possible disputes between operators and inspection bodies

  • Avoiding unfair competition situations, that can jeopardize certified products

Contact us for more information or fill out the FORM to get an estimate of costs for our services

Other Services

Labelling and information for consumers

Mandatory information, voluntary information, nutritional and health claims.


Production and commerce, labelling, PDO and PGI, registers and declarations, aromatized wines.

Food safety
and hygiene

Traceability, withdrawal and recall, hygiene requirements, Haccp, flexibility.

Food supplements, fortified food and novel food

Food supplements, fortified food, novel food, food for specific population groups.

Organization of the company and trade relations

Contracts, e-commerce, trademarks, penalties, debts recovery, litigations.


Obligations to start production, public contribution, administrative proceedings and appeals.

Training and corporate advice

On-premise training courses, webinar, ongoing legal advice.