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Geographical Indications system for Ukrainian food. What’s new?


Under the Free Trade Area Agreement with the EU, Ukraine must stop to use foreign geographical indications such as cognac, champagne, parmesan and feta, and register its own trademarks. This process is supported by the EU project “Support to the development of a Geographical Indications system in Ukraine”.


For 3 years and 8 months, representatives of the foreign delegation of the EU project “Support to the Development of Geographical Indications in Ukraine” together with Ukrainian authorities, domestic producers and experts developed and implemented legislation, that would regulate the principles of geographical indications in Ukraine and improve them according to European regulations. Union. The end of the project was finalised with a brief overview of achievements and online tasting of already registered or those planned for registration, geographical indications of Ukraine.

First of all, it worth noting that a team of domestic and foreign specialists has done a big job to register or prepare for registration Ukrainian specialties. According to the rules, products that will have an official mark of a protected geographical indication of Ukraine, go through 2 main stages of registration: at the state and European levels. The process is complex – it’s legal support, administration, marketing, training seminars.

The geographic indication mark is applied only to a quality product with a long history and production tradition. The first thing worth noting is that a geographical indication is an object of collective intellectual property, and it represents the name of a product, not a trademark. Everybody can use it, but only subject to compliance with all production requirements and continuous control, which guarantee the product’s quality.

During the project, the managers already registered the PDO Hutsul Cow Bryndza, PDO Hutsul Sheep Bryndza and PDO Melitopol Cherry. The Kherson watermelon (PDO Kherson Watermelon) is almost ready to reach to the final level of registration. PDO Zakarpattia Honey with several specifications for this product and PGI Frumushyka Nova Sheep Meat are also prepared. Regarding the important wine topic for us, it is the turn of the national registration of geographical indications for PDO wine Yalpuh, PGI wine Prydunaiska Bessarabia, PDO wine Chabag and PGI wine Zakarpattia after approval of a certain legal base.

The purpose of the project is the development of Ukraine’s brand in the world, support, recognition and registration of geographical indications. All our achievements during these years and the laid foundation must be implemented as soon as possible. We can now develop other GZs and promote Ukraine in the world.

Taras Vysotsky, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine
PDO Melitopol Cherry

Ukraine is the agricultural cradle of Europe and has authentic products. This project is funded by the European Commission, our task is to provide a legal framework that will be the common backbone and develop the export direction.

Marcus Klingler, Head of the Agricultural Policy Group, Support Group for Ukraine, Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR, Brussels)
PDO Hutsul Cow Bryndza

However, there is one point that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. This is the so-called rebranding of “sensitive products” that have not yet been renamed: cognac, champagne and feta. As for feta, Ukrainian producers already use the recognised ancient name “Nabil”, which is already registered as a trade mark. Some sparkling wine producers no longer use the name “champagne” and do not indicate on the label “made using the method of champagne”.

Cognac is our biggest defeat. The names we suggested were rejected by the manufacturers. Now we understand that only a decision of the ministry can resolve this controversial issue.

Saverio Savio, project manager and first key expert
PDO Hutsul Sheep Bryndza

At a certain stage, the project became quite successful, and this made it possible on the basis of already defined geographical indications, using international experience, to create the first innovative tourist product “Road of wine and taste of Ukrainian Bessarabia”.

Currently, similar projects are being developed in Kherson, Zakarpattia, Slobozhanshchyna, Prykarpattia, Kryvyi Rih, Chernihiv, Bukovyna, Poltava, etc. And the participants of the “Road of Wine and Taste of Ukrainian Bessarabia” and “Road of Taste of Prykarpattia” have already established the National Wine and Gastronomic Tourist Network “Roads of Wine and Taste of Ukraine”.

Legislative changes have also been decisive in the implementation of the EU project “Support to the Development of the Geographical Indication System in Ukraine”. Thus, in 2019, legislative changes were adopted and improved the system of legal protection of geographical indications.

The preparation of bylaws that will promote the development of a system of national geographical indications, guaranteed traditional features and other quality systems for agricultural and food products, wines and spirits is nearing completion.