In the period 14-16 March, in Chisinau, took place the working mission in the field of protection and promotion of geographical indications of the representatives of the French National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) and the French Embassy.
The purpose of the mission was to familiarize national experts with the best European practices in the field of protection and promotion of geographical indications and rendering assistance in enhancing the institutional capacities of the Moldovan public authorities to develop this system.
French delegation included: Nicolas Perrin, agricultural counselor, Embassy of France, Arnaud Mottin expert, Board of Audit and Training, and Valerie Keller – expert of the French National Institute for Origin and Quality (INAO).
On the first day of the mission, French experts participated in the National Seminar “Protection of Geographical Indications”, organized by the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI) in cooperation with the INAO and the French Embassy. The seminar was dedicated to both the competent authorities responsible for approval of specifications, control bodies and producers interested in harnessing the geographical indications system.
On the second day of the mission, French experts have paid a visit to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI), where they participated in a working meeting together with the heads of Departments of the Ministry responsible for the field of geographical indications, specialists of AGEPI and of the Scientific-Practical Institute of Horticulture and Food Technology. The meeting was moderated by Vasile Luca, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry. MAFI representatives presented the general situation of the field of geographical indications in Moldova, with particular reference to agriculture. Later, participants made an exchange of information on technical issues and best practices applied in France in this field.
INAO experts have also visited the National Center for Quality Checking of Alcoholic Production (NCQCAP). In the meeting took part representatives of the NCQCAP, Associations of Producers formed for producing products with GI in the viticultural and wine-making sector, of the National Vine and Wine Office (NVWO) and AGEPI specialists. During the visit they discussed issues related to the control procedure for compliance with the specifications. Representatives of the National Vine and Wine Office informed the guests about the latest developments of the Republic of Moldova on ensuring internal control of compliance with the specifications for products benefiting from geographical indication in the viticultural and wine-making field. Foreign experts praised the results of NVWO, in 2015, in verifying the areas of grape-vines. It was also noted that last year were created the premises in order that in 2016 we have already marketed the first wines with geographical indications.
The last day of the working mission was dedicated to meetings with producers and aimed at providing technical consultations specifically for producers who have launched or are interested in accessing the system of geographical indications. Thus, the French experts, together with AGEPI and MAFIA representatives, made a visit to Marinici, Nisporeni district, where there is a group of producers in charge of cultivation of gooseberries. It was a less formal meeting, where both producers and French experts shared their experiences and exchanged views on the protection of geographical indications. Participants in the meeting visited a plantation of gooseberries and later – a bakery in the village of Balauresti. Bakery owners intend in the coming period to develop some traditional specialties guaranteed relating to baking bread, knot-shaped bread and other bakery products, etc.
After conducting territory visits, the experts noted the interest of producers from less advantaged areas to promote their products using geographical indications.
At the end of the mission, at the State Agency on Intellectual Property, was held a meeting with the participation of the representatives of the AGEPI, MAFI and Berry Producers Association “BACIFERA”. The meeting was moderated by Octavian Apostol, Director General of AGEPI. The participants in the meeting thanked the French experts for the support they have given for three days to both institutions and producers, noting that the exchange of experience will help improve and increase the speed of implementation of everything related to the field of geographical indications.
On the other hand, French experts have said that in Moldova there are producers interested to protect their geographical indications and the most important is that there is potential for production. They praised the authorities’ wish to be involved in using the geographical indications system. At the same time, French experts have recommended the authorities designated to further promote the field of geographical indications for producers to better know the multiple economic benefits of this system.
French experts also showed interested in organizing a regional seminar with the participation of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia to share experiences and to identify problems and challenges that arise in the development of geographical indications.
Currently in Moldova are registered two appellations of origin: Ciumai and Romanesti and four geographical indications: Divin, Codru, Stefan Voda and Valul lui Traian. In December 2015, with the AGEPI were filed two new applications for registration of geographical indications: Rose petal jam of Calarasi and Apricot brandy of Nimoreni.
In France there are 464 registered appellations of origin and 230 geographical indications, being the recognized world leader in this field.