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Traditional regional products

Food quality policy in the European Union

In the European Union the system of regional and traditional products’ protection is based on two regulations laying down the rules of their registration and protection:

- Council Regulation (EC) no 510/2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs,

- Council Regulation (EC) no 509/2006 on agricultural products and foodstuffs as traditional specialities guaranteed.


These regulations were implemented into the Polish legal system by the Act on registration and protection of names and marking of agricultural products and foodstuffs and on traditional products (Dz. U. 2005 no 10, item 68).  The Act regulates the domestic stage of the requests evaluation.

Names of the agricultural products and foodstuffs can be registered as:

Protected Designation of Origin - when a name is directly or indirectly related to a region, specific place or, in exceptional cases, country where the product is produced, the whole technological process takes place in the area to which the name of the product refers to and chracteristics and the quality of the product can be assigned without any doubts to the specifity of the geographical area where it is produced.

Protected Geographical Indication - when a name of the product refers to a region or specific place or, in exceptional cases, country where the product is produced. The product must have some special quality, reputation or other specific qualities coming from or assigned to its geographical origin. The quality of the product can stem from a geografical area (for example: climate, vegetation, shape of the land), local know-how or other environmental and human factors.

Traditional Speciality Guaranteed – product can be registered as a traditional speciality guaranteed when its name is specific in itself or it indicates the specific character of the agricultural product or foodstuff and the product itself is specific that is it has the quality or a set of qualities distinguishing it from other products of the same category and it has a traditional character, which can be expressed through the use of traditonal raw materials, traditional composition or traditional method of production.

Registration of the name of an agricultural product or foodstuff as a geographical indication, designation of origin or guaranteed traditional speciality guarantee that nobody can illegally use the registered name in a commercial way on the territory of Poland or the EU. Only producers who come from the registered territory, produce the product according to the specification and use registered raw materials have the right to use the graphic mark or the registered name. Consequently, granting indication protects producers against any illegible use of the product’s name. It allows to emphasize the uniqueness of the product and makes competition on the EU market possible. Placing a graphic mark on the package of the product makes it recogizable for millions of consumers in the European Union with high earnings at their disposal and who are aware of the high quality and uniqueness of the marked good.

More detailed information are available on the MARD website.

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