Hungarian Brand Protected in EU-China Agreement

November 11, 2019

Tokaji is the only Hungarian brand among one hundred European products that are protected by geographical indications (GI) in an agreement signed by the EU and China against imitations and usurpation.

Tokaj is a historical wine region located in northeastern Hungary and southeastern Slovakia. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002 under the name Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape. It was back in 1757 that a royal decree established a closed production district in Tokaj, creating the world's second system of wine appellation (after that of Chianti).

The region is noted for its sweet wines made from grapes affected by noble rot, a style of wine, which has a long history in this region. It is home to 'Tokaji aszú', the world's oldest botrytized wine. The 'nectar' coming from the grapes of Tokaj is also mentioned in the national anthem of Hungary.

Agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan said that “European Geographical Indication products are renowned across the world for their quality. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price, trusting the origin and authenticity of these products, while further rewarding farmers. This agreement shows our commitment to working closely with our global trading partners such as China. It is a win for both parties, strengthening our trading relationship, benefiting our agricultural and food sectors, and consumers on both sides.”

The EU list of GI to be protected in China includes products such as Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Münchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego. Among the Chinese products, the list includes, for example, Pixian Dou Ban (Pixian Bean Paste), Anji Bai Cha (Anji White Tea), Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Anqiu Da Jiang (Anqiu Ginger).

Following the conclusion of the negotiations, the agreement will now go through legal scrutiny. On the EU side, the European Parliament and the Council will then be asked to give their approval. The agreement is expected to enter into force before the end of 2020.


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