PDO & PGI marks
The PDO mark (Protected Designation of Origin) is a European recognition attributed to those products whose production phases take place in a geographically delimited area and is rigorously in compliance with a precise production specification with respect to a traditional recipe.
The characteristics of the territory, from a geographical (defined as a group of natural factors such as climate and environmental features) and human point of view (relative to the production techniques passed down through time, craftsmanship and specific manual skills), together allow to obtain a product inimitable outside of the prescribed production area.
PGI recognition (Protected Geographical Indication) is instead attributed to agricultural and food products to safeguard the quality, reputation, recipe or characteristics of a specific geographical region, in which at least one phase of the production and/or processing and/or elaboration of the products takes place.
EU marks: quality, taste and safety
Italian deli meats products represent about one third of the European meat products heritage, constituting the largest group in the deli meats sector. The flagship of Made in Italy agri-foodstuffs has also been rewarded by the European Union, with the attainment of 43 PDO and PGI recognitions. If, on one hand, these marks of quality and tradition of the Italian deli meats are valuable signs for the producers as well as seals of assurance for the consumer, they can however restrict the possible evolution of the product. The relative production specifications that protect the traditional recipe of the products, in fact ‘fix’ the composition, making it difficult to modify the product’s nutritional profile.
For example, the production specification regarding Mortadella Bologna PGI envisions that the amount of fat present in each slice is not less than 15% of the total, thus preventing a free choice to reduce the amount of fats. The two protected designation categories differ due to the type and strength of the link existing between the product and the geographical area of production.
The PDO mark is attributed to products that are rigorously produced within a delimited geographical area and whose distinctive characteristics represent the discriminating factor for the features of the product itself. The PGI mark gives more importance to production techniques than restriction of the origin of the raw material. In both cases, the respect for the rules established by the production specifications is strict and guaranteed by a relevant control body, specifically authorised by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. This control is performed in addition to the standard control on the entire chain. In spite of the envisioned and mandatory restrictions, thanks to the continuous commitment of the entire chain, which operates on the quality of the raw material and controlling the production processes, today modern Italian deli meats have a nutritional profile that is further improved with respect to the past, in line with modern dietary requirements.
Go to Italian PDO/PGI Salumi list >