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Good reputations are valuable assets. A casual glance at a restaurant menu is sufficient evidence of the many good foods that have gained reputations beyond national boundaries: think of Mortadella Bologna, Coquille St. Jacques, Queso Manchego, Roquefort and Turron de Alicante. Consumers want a guarantee of satisfaction and producers want to avoid unfair competition from products being passed off as the genuine article. How can traditional agricultural products or foodstuffs which have European Union (EU)-wide reputations be both promoted and protected from inferior products? The European Commission (EC) regulation governing the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin of certain foods provides an answer.

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