On September 4th 2018, AREPO held the first working meeting of the College of Producers, hosted by the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium in Reggio Emilia, with 25 participants representing several European GIs.
The President of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium, Mr Nicola Bertinelli, in his quality as Vice-president of AREPO launched this initiative to strengthen producers participation and define the working priorities for the next years.
The President of AREPO, Mrs Theano Vrentzou-Skordalaki, Vice-governor of Crete said that “we need a strong CAP supporting GIs in the irreplaceable role that origin products play in favor of the development of rural territories, especially in difficult areas such as dry or mountainous areas”. She also wished to orient AREPO work on the topic of a better market recognition for GIs, with a special attention for retailers.
Mr Nicola Bertinelli referred to the challenges that GI producers face in the coming period, among other, the new CAP post 2020, the revision of GI regulation, the EU bilateral agreements with third countries, and the crucial issues arising from consumer request for more sustainability.
He would like “the College of Producers of AREPO to reinforce the collaboration with our friends of OriGIn EU, in order to create together a strong platform for GIs producers collective participation. Together we can monitor EU bilateral and multilateral trade agreements in order to actively defend GIs and support their recognition and protection, without forgetting the anxiety-provoking context of Brexit”.
The College of Producers is one of the two pillars of AREPO network which represents both Regions and Producers Associations that deal with products of origin. This mixed structure is one of the major strength of the Association since, in a uniquely wide approach on GIs, it joins the production perspective and the needs and potentials in terms of rural development and territorial planning.