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Protection of geographical indications  in Norway
Protection of geographical indications in Norway
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Protection of geographical indications in Norway

Skrevet av Matmerk den 7.1.2021

Protection of geographical indications in Norway
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Protection on geographical indications is a public certification scheme which can provide legal protection for foodstuffs that have close link to a specific geographical area as well as traditional specialities. Norway has it´s own national legislation.

Purpose

The purpose of the certification scheme is to increase innovation and the range of foodstuffs by stimulating regional and local food production. The certification scheme also aims to provide increased opportunities for consumers to choose from a larger range of products in addition to providing reliable information on the origins of the product, its traditional character and specialities.

Legislation

Ringerikspotet is a Protected Geographical Designation. Photo: Matmerk.
Ringerikspotet is a Protected Geographical Designation. Photo: Matmerk.

The scheme has been established by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food as a strategy for regional and local innovation. The regulations build on equivalent EU regulations for geographical indications. (Regulation nos. 1151/2012). The Norwegian scheme is regulated by Regulation No. 698 of 5 July 2002 concerning the protected designation of origin, geographical indication and traditional specialities of foodstuffs. The regulation is set out in the Foodlaw.

Areas of protection

The Norwegian directive only provides protection in Norway. European legislation allows for one to apply for the equivalent protection in the EU too, if protection has been given in Norway. The regulation applies to agricultural products, fish and seafood. The scheme does not currently cover products such as spring water, glacier water, natural mineral water and game.

Official Protection

Protected certification provides legal protection against the imitation and copying of products, and guarantees the origins of the product, its qualities, production methods and history.

Three types of Protected Designations are attainable.

1: Protected Designation of Origin:

This protection may be given to foodstuffs that are closely linked to the geographical area stated in the productname.

The principal requirements are:

  •  The foodstuff must originate and be produced, prepared and processed in the geographical area that is stated in the product name
  •  The special quality, reputation or other distinct qualities of the foodstuff must primarily or entirely be identifiable with the geographical environment of the area

Examples of products with Protected Designation of Origin in the EU are: Parmesan Cheese (Italy), Parma Ham (Italy), Svecia Cheese (Sweden) and Roquefort (France). In Norway we have Skjenning and Gulløye from Northern Norway.

2: Protected Geographical Designation:

This protection may be given to foodstuffs that are linked with the geographical area that is stated in the product name. The requirements concerning this link are not as restricted as those for the Protected Designation of Origin.

The principal requirements are:

  • The foodstuff must originate from and be either produced, prepared or processed in the geographical area stated in the product name
  • The special quality of the foodstuff, its reputation or qualities must be identifiable with the geographic origin

Examples of products with Protected Geographical Designation in Norway are: Fjellmandel (Almond Potatoes) from Oppdal, Rakfisk from Valdres and Tørrfisk (Stockfish) from Lofoten. Examples from the EU are: Danablue (Denmark), Chorizo de Cantimpalos (Spain), Schwarzwalder Ham (Germany).

3: Traditional Speciality Guaranteed:

The requirement for attaining Traditional Speciality Guaranteed certification for traditional specialities is that the foodstuff must have special qualities that distinguish it from similar products. Requirements need to be met when it comes to both the name and tradition of the product.

The principal requirements are:

  • The name must project traditional character or express the foodstuff’s distinctiveness
  • The foodstuff must be made from traditional ingredients or have a traditional compositionor be produced in such a way that reflects the traditional method of production

Examples of products with Traditional Speciality Guaranteed in the EU are: Mozerella (Italy), Jamon Serrano (Spain) and Falukorv (Sweden).

Who can apply?

Stocfish from Lofoten is a Protected Geographical Designation. Photo: Eivor Eriksen
Stocfish from Lofoten is a Protected Geographical Designation. Photo: Eivor Eriksen

Each and every binding collaboration of primary manufacturers and/or processors who collaborate on the same foodstuff can apply to receive a Protected Designation. In exceptional cases individuals or an organisation may also apply. Producers from EU that have achieved protection in EU may apply for protection in Norway.

Administration and approval

The Protected Designation Scheme is to be administered by Norwegian Food Safety Authority. Matmerk has been delegated the responsibility for providing advice to applicants to the certification scheme, in addition to handling applications. Thus, applications must be sent to Matmerk. Norwegian Food Safety Authority will conduct the final approval of an application.

Further information

Suitable applicants and others who are interested can receive more information regarding the protected certification scheme online at: www.beskyttedebetegnelser.no or by contacting Matmerk.

Tel. + 47 24 14 83 00 or at post(@)matmerk.no

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