AREPO General Assembly, held on October 18th in Brussels, welcomed the new President Ms Eirini Choudetsanaki, member of the newly elected Regional Council of Crete. The new President said she would continue to carry on the excellent work done by her predecessor Ms Theano Vrentzou-Skordalaki, namely assuring the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) under the free trade agreements and achieving the right recognition and support under the new CAP post 2020.
During the General Assembly, AREPO members discussed the matter of US tariffs, in the day of their entry into force, stressing the need to support the sectors affected, with particular attention to EU Geographical Indications.
“Trade-damaging duties are not acceptable, especially when it comes to historical allies. There is a specific attack on GIs in the choice of products subject to these tariffs, which is why our commitment against them will continue, along with all the other regions affected by this absurd trade war. EU policies on geographical indications will not be weakened but rather strengthened” stated Simona Caselli, Regional Minister of Agriculture of Emilia-Romagna.
Marco Remaschi Regional Minister of Agriculture of Toscana, backed this position remarking the importance of taking a stand against US tariffs in this crucial moment, “by making clear to our companies that we are committed to support them. Those who work to create quality products find themselves facing ever greater difficulties”.
Particularly, both political representatives of AREPO Regions and AREPO Board of Producers, the latter in the person of Guglielmo Garagnani, Vice-President of Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium and representing AREPO Vice-Presidency, pointed out three proposals for action in order to offset the effect of duties:
1) The integration of the crisis reserve fund to be used to support the affected producers;
2) Requiring a share of resources destined to GI consortia for the legal protection in countries not covered by bilateral agreements;
3) Providing for priority scores for projects submitted under Regulation 1144/ 2014 by GIs affected by tariffs with the aim of carrying out promotional actions in those markets subject to them.
The President of OriGIn, Claude Vermot-Desroches, expressed as well the support of its organization and the urgency to adopt measures for enhancing the defence of EU GIs against US trade threats.
Several political representatives of AREPO Regions took part in the AG bringing meaningful contributions to the discussion. Among them, Carmel Mòdol, Director General for Quality and Food Industries of Catalunya; Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Vice-President in charge of Agriculture of Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region; Vincent Labarthe, Vice-President in charge of Agriculture of Occitanie; Katerina Zografou, Vice-Governor of Central Macedonia.