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Mike Knowles

BY MIKE KNOWLES

@mikefruitnet

Stonefruit group tries to woo growers

Consortium promoting Romagna PGI peaches and nectarines seeks to defend position as it ramps up marketing campaign

Stonefruit group tries to woo growers

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The consortium responsible for marketing EU-certified stonefruit grown in the Italian region of Romagna has vowed to defend its protected geographical indication (PGI) and has called on more producers to join the group.

According to the organisation, retail buyers are increasingly looking to secure the kind of food safety and quality assurances guaranteed by products – especially fruit and vegetables – that carry a European geographical designation.

These include trust marks from schemes including PGI and others like the protected denomination of origin (PDO) and traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG) marks.

As a result, the Romagna PGI peach and nectarine consortium is stepping up its annual marketing campaign this summer, backed by regional government funding via Emilia Romagna's Rural Promotion Development Plan.

Promotional activities will take place in Italy and also Germany.

"We will continue to carry out activities in defence [of Romagna peaches and nectarines], with a constructive approach that benefits the producers," commented consortium president Paolo Pari.

"For this reason, I invite growers in the Romagna PGI area to certify their production by applying for membership of the consortium. In this way, they can use the Romagna brand identity without problem."

The consortium is also responsible for defending the trademark against unauthorised use, something which Pari said was not really worth the risk given what he described as a relatively inexpensive registration fee.

"The costs are very low," he noted, "and it is important to enter the PGI system to be able to enjoy the benefits of a certified identity."

Romagna's PGI scheme has certified a total of 470ha of peach and nectarine crops across the region.

CSO data show however that, during the past five years, the region's total planted area for peaches and nectarines has fallen by around 43 per cent to 9,236ha, of which around two-thirds is peaches.

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