Of all European countries, Italy has the greatest number of foods and delicacies to receive the European Union's quality seal. This is evidence of the strong tie between Italy’s characteristic products, and their geographic provenance.
EU quality branding serves to promote Italy’s food production and its economy, while protecting precious ecosystems and the biodiversity of its landscape. Obviously, consumers are protected as well. After all, they are ensured products meet the highest standards of quality, with ingredients that can be traced to their source. This makes for safe and authentic food, both in terms of geographic origin, as well as for the production process itself. By the same token, EU quality branding represents an advantage for Italian producers as well, who then enjoy legal protection against imitators and unauthorised uses of their product name.
The “DOP” Brand (Protected-Origin Status)
This brand identifies a region or country's original food product whose quality or characteristics are essentially – or entirely – attributable to a particular geographic area, and the area's intrinsic nature or culture. It also means that the production process occurs entirely within that limited geographic area.
The “IGP” Brand (Protected Geographic Indication)
This brand designates a town, region, or country’s original product, whose very geographic origin is the reason for a certain quality, reputation, or other characteristics of the same. For this brand to apply, at least one of the production phases must occur within that limited geographic area.
The “STG” Brand (Guaranteed Traditional Specialty)
This brand refers to an agricultural or food product that, while not limited to a limited geographic area, is still defined as a “specialty” and “traditional”.