DNV Certification has been recognized as a private control body for three quality mark food standards. The three quality marks released by the European Community intend to protect products that are linked to a specific region, such as Parma ham, Feta cheese or specific olive oils or beers. The marks give consumers confidence in product authenticity.
Three quality marks
The license was granted to DNV last December by the Italian Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry. At the same time, DNV was added to the official list of private control bodies for three quality mark standards:
PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)
Covers foods that are produced, processed, and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised regional expertise.
PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)
Mark given to products where the geographical link must occur in at least one of the stages of production, processing, or preparation.
TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed)
This mark does not refer to the origin of the product, but highlights traditional character, either in composition or in the means of production.
Ensuring product quality in the European Community
The three quality marks were introduced by the European Community in 1992 with the intention of protecting the local products within the community to:
* Encourage diverse agricultural production
* Protect product names from misuse and imitation
* Inform customers about a products' specific character
Italian offer only
At present, DNV only offers this service in Italy. An expansion to other European countries is possible in the near future. Many food associations and food protection consortiums have already shown interest in the marks.
"We're confident we will be able to combine the DNV name with some of the most typical and well-known Italian foods, an effort we have already had some success with," says Stefano Crea, global food manager in DNV Certification.