The Meeting

The Geographical Indications Kick-Off Meeting is a technical meeting organized by the Qualivita Foundation in collaboration with Aicig, Federdoc, Prima, OriGIn, Inao and Origen España and sponsored by the Comune di Siena, with the aim of comparing the experiences of Consortia for the protection of Geographical Indications in order to define a new, strategic proposal to support the development of the sector in both Italy and Europe.

The event is only open to operators in the sector (protection consortia, producer organisations, regional administrations, ministries and bodies strictly associated with the world of PDI-PGI products), who will have the opportunity to participate in sessions on the five central topics for the development of the sector.


Siena – Santa Maria della Scala

Santa Maria della Scala is the biggest museum and cultural complex in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe, covering an area of 370 thousand cubic metres; 40 thousand square metres. This evocative place boasts a thousand-year history, and has been described as a city within the city. The space is spread out over 7 floors, with stunning monumental areas, frescoes and extremely characteristic underground passages.

The Format

Five plenary working sessions dedicated to the direct experiences of operators in the sector, and in particular to directors and representatives of consortia and regional administrations.

The format consists of three-minute speeches, based on a specific topic, so as to give space to as many contributions as possible and allow us to collect a wide range of suggestions, experiences and proposals.

All the contributions will be included in a summary document that will be presented to political decision-makers, as well as shared and disseminated among all the players in the system.




Session 1


The public value of GIs is generated by the explication of a “pact” that the production system makes with a citizen, whether this is a consumer or a member of the local community in which the raison d’etre of the GI lies.

The symbiotic relationship between producer-consumer, producer-local community, is based on the mutual interest in the designation guaranteeing the elements specified in the product specification, which distinguish the product from others.

It is a fiduciary relationship that must be guaranteed by public authorities, control bodies and protection consortia, with effective and concrete actions. Today there are new technologies helping us to make this relationship more tangible, enabling us to implement already existing systems in order to make the system more transparent and, as such, more credible. It is also clear that this relationship must be considered in general terms, without dismissing the possibility of the individual operator disregarding the pact.

How can a new vision of Protection and Valorization strengthen the pact with consumers and communities? How can Consortia and companies carve the way forward together, starting from lived experiences?

Session coordinator

Luca Giavi Director of the Protection Consortium for Prosecco DOC

Sessione 2


GIs are attracting increasing attention from national and international economic operators and stakeholders. However, the potential of GI systems remains to a large extent unrealised. For this reason, it is necessary to intervene in the governance models for GI systems.

The key fulcrum is to clarify the mission of “a governance capable of realising the system’s economic potential”. This great opportunity for territorial development – in and of the terroir of origin – is a lever to economic integration and GI marketing.

The consequent courses of action must affect various levels. Today it is of fundamental importance to intervene in these issues and this is, first and foremost, up to the GI system itself, which must demonstrate that it is able to assume the responsibility of carving out an evolutionary path forward.

Are governance roles only related to formal administration, or do they also concern governing the market? How should the relationship with “members” of the GI supply chain be managed as far as delegations, economic participation, etc. are concerned? How can governance be modelled in relation to the specific needs and characteristics of each GI?

Session coordinator:

Riccardo Deserti, Director of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium

Sessione 3


It is possible for the legislative proposals concerning PDOs and PGIs to be the fulcrum of the debate on the future of the CAP, but in order for this to happen, a proactive role is required from all stakeholders in the sector. The Commission’s proposal for the CAP post-2020, consistent with the push towards regulatory simplification, encompasses many of the current regulations in a single document, including the text on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs. A new system that does not disregard geographical indications; on the contrary, it encourages Member States to make GI products “more attractive” to both farmers and consumers.

Simplified regulations and administration will offer a precious opportunity to set out national policies on Geographical Indications to adapt to the changes in the general environment.

How can the Protection Consortia and their companies play a guiding role in the CAP? What are the actions and topics that should be supported to promote the centrality of the GI system in the debate?

Session coordinator:

Fabio Del Bravo – Manager at Ismea

Sessione 4


The full recognition and protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) in foreign markets is a crucial element for products that are going to be exported.

After the collapse of the WTO Ministerial Conference in 2008, it became clear that the creation of a multilateral GI registry would not be feasible, at least in the medium-term.

Two phenomena have since arisen. The first is the resumption of bilateral or “plurilateral” negotiations. Numerous commercial agreements have been concluded with a chapter on intellectual property (for example, the EPA between the EU and Japan, which will provisionally come into force in February 2019), or treaties concerning only GIs (EU-China TAR agreement, currently being finalized). In this context, it is worth pointing out the reform of the Lisbon Agreement, instigated by WIPO, with the adoption of a new “plurilateral” treaty in May 2015, called the Geneva Act.

The second phenomenon is that several Consortia have requested direct recognition of the GI they represent in a few key export markets. Furthermore, Consortia and companies are clearly committed to the issue of legal protection for GIs, which has been subject to influential investments, also of an economic nature, with results that have not always been beneficial to the system.

How can Consortia influence international negotiations regarding GIs? Are there any risks of incompatibility with international laws? Do all the Consortia know how (or have the financial means) to proceed with the request for recognition of the GI they represent in foreign jurisdictions? What are the most effective ways to defend Geographical Indications in non-EU countries?

Session coordinator:

Massimo Vittori, Director of Origin

Sessione 5


The agri-food sector has undergone profound changes in the last 20 years: the HACCP (from quality control to quality assurance), Quality (PDO/PGI, ISO 9001 – 14001 – 18001 management systems etc.), and, more recently, Sustainability.

Sustainability is a topic of public, political and market interest. Given the global food industry’s  enormous interest in this issue, several standards have been developed to define sustainability and these require certification by a third party.

What can GIs do to keep up with the growing demand for sustainability? Is it possible for GIs that are already a common reference for a territory’s values and methods, to also find a proactive, shared and homogeneous approach to the topic of sustainability?

Session coordinator:

Maria Chiara Ferrarese, Vice Director of CSQA Certificazioni


09.00 :: Welcome speeches

Luigi De Mossi – Mayor of Siena
Angelo Riccaboni – Chairman of Prima
Cesare Mazzetti – Chairman of the Qualivita Foundation

10. 00 :: Working Sessions

10.00 Session 1 – 10.30 Session 2
11,00 Coffee break
11.15 Session 3 – 11.45 Session 4 – 12.15 Session 5

13.00 :: Lunch break

14.30 :: Summary of the Working groups

15.00 :: Closing speeches

Inao – Origen – Aicig – Federdoc

Paolo De Castro

Chairman of the Qualivita Foundation’s Scientific Cmte

17.00 :: Conclusion of the work

Per info e apprfondimenti contattare la segreteria dell’evento: o 05771503049