Bulgaria has sent applications for entry of “Bulgarian yoghurt” and “Bulgarian white brined cheese” as Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) in the European Register of Protected Designations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs. They are submitted by the “Bulgarian traditional dairy products” association.
During the national application processing procedure, a commission at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry reviewed all attached documents to the submitted applications. A number of working meetings were held with representatives of the association, in order to reflect the notes and comments of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and to refine the texts.
The documents are subject to examination procedure by the European Commission. It should not exceed six months, and where this period is exceeded, the Commission shall state the reasons in writing. In addition to reviewing and sending comments and remarks by the EC for coverage to Bulgaria, EU Member States and third countries will have the right to object to the procedure. In the absence of such, the names will be entered in the European Register.
The procedure provides better incomes for producers, according to the qualities of these products. Uniform protection of names as an intellectual property right in the EU and protection against misuse and imitation will also be achieved. The right to use the European quality marks on Bulgarian products aims to protect the interests of the manufacturer against unfair competition and abuse.
Products with protected geographical indications may also be included in agreements between the EU and third countries on mutual recognition, cooperation and protection in the field of geographical indications. This improves the competitiveness and access of Bulgarian products to new markets.
The registration of “Bulgarian yogurt” and “Bulgarian white brined cheese” will achieve protection and strengthening the good reputation and high quality of these traditional Bulgarian dairy products.
Currently, the Bulgarian “Gornooryahovski sudzuk” and “Bulgarian rose oil” are included in the European register of protected geographical indications, as well as five foods with traditional specific character – “Elena fillet”, “Lukanka Panagyurska”, “Rolle Trapezitsa”, “Kayserovan neck Thrace” and “Pastrami beef”. They are entered in the European Register of Foodstuffs with a traditional specific character.
The honeydew honey from Bulgaria’s Strandzha region has been the first Bulgarian product included in the list of protected designations of origin of the European Union
Regarding wines, 54 Bulgarian wines are registered at European level – 52 with Protected Designation of Origin and 2 with Protected Geographical Indication.