Italian Agriculture Minister Says Country Could Block EU-Canada Trade Deal

Italy’s agriculture minister suggested the country will not ratify a free trade agreement between the EU and Canada, saying that it doesn’t do enough to protect the nation’s specialty products.

“We will not ratify the free-trade treaty with Canada because it protects only a small part of our PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) products,” Gian Marco Centinaio told Italian newspaper La Stampa on Thursday, according to comments reported by Reuters.

EUR/CAN for June 14, 2018.

EUR/CAN for June 14, 2018.

The snappily-titled PDOs and PGIs promote and protect names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs. In the 28-member European Union, Italy has the highest number of food products that enjoy these statuses, with 221 products protected. The number includes two products with the label “Traditional Specialty Guaranteed,” which doesn’t restrict a food item to a specific geographical location, these being mozzarella and Neapolitan pizza.

Centinaio said Italy wanted to “defend the quality of ‘Made in Italy’ products.” Products in Italy with the PDO or PGI status include Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, Sicilian blood oranges, a range of regional cheeses, including Grana Padano and Gorgonzola, meats, oils and vegetables, among other products.

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