The motivations of PGl's applicant groups and their interpretations of the 2081/92 rule in the case of french PGl's requests: what are the reasons of conflicts between firms and the risks of unfair competition ?

In the case of 2081/92 rule, as for any recent rule we are faced with the variability of the interpretations done by the actors as long as a common meaning is not elaborated on the basis of an official doctrine and/or successive jurisdictions. In France this is specifically true in the case of PGI which is really perceived by the food chain's actors as a new protection located between the pre-existing "AOC" (Controlled denomination of origin, which is the French equivalent to the European "AOP") and the simple "indication de provenance" (Indication of origin which is a limited protection against wrong information about the origin of the product without any other specifications). The purpose of this paper is firstly to analyse the diversity of the main motivations of the French applicant groups which are involved in a PGI's request and to compare them with the thoughts and objectives of the 2081/92 rule. In a second part we intend to classify the different kinds of conflicts which have emerged between the food chain's actors and which are related to these PGl's requests. We will study specifically the nature of oppositions which have been done to the applicant group's request by other firms during the national public enquiry which takes place at the beginning of the agreement's procedure. The kinds of conflicts which will be taken in account concern the following topics : the product's denomination (Is it considered as generic or not ?), the delimitation of the geographical area (Is it accepted outside the area and particularly near the limits ? Do any actors ask to reduce or enlarge this area ?), the code of practice (is it accepted by every concerned firms ? Is it perceived as too wide or too restrictive ?), the steps of the process concerned by the protection (raw materials origin, elaboration, packaging : what is to be done inside the delimited area ?), the links bet_ween the name of the product, the geographical area and the code of practice (Is the reputation the only criteria used to set up this link ? On what basis is this reputation proved and/or contested ?) In the last part we will compare different PG l's requests which are experiencing similar conflicts between actors. We will show that conflicts which are at first sight very similar have in fact various underlying causes and that they mostly result from wrong interpretations of the 2081/92 rule either by the applicant groups or by their opposants. Among the requirements of the 2081/92 rule, the criteria of reputation is certainly the much debated by the actors. It would probably be useful for the future of the 2081/92 rule to precise what are the relevant methods to establish a reliable link between a product and a geographical area on the basis of reputation.

Sylvander, Bertil
Barjolle, Dominique
Arfini, Filippo
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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