The Moldovan wine sector will benefit from a more efficient traceability system for products with PGI / PDO (Protected Geographical Indication and Protected Designation of Origin), in the context of harmonizing the national system with the EU requirements. It is possible thanks to the missions of experts visiting our country to study the needs of the industry, offering solutions and recommendations adapted to the local situation. Between December 2018 and January 2019, two events dedicated to this topic, organized by the National Office for Vine and Wine (ONVV), took place with the support of TAIEX, the technical assistance and information exchange tool of the European Commission.
The events chaired by Gheorghe Arpentin, the director of the ONVV, discussed the main areas of interest for the sector, such as the vine and wine registry, mandatory declarations, accompanying documents, evidence records, labeling elements, information and certification documentation, and compliance with the relevant legislation of European Union.
Gheorghe Arpentin, Director, ONVV: “We already apply methods to ensure the traceability of wine products in Moldova, including mandatory declarations, but also an extremely important project – the Vine and Wine Registry. For further implementation and efficient operation of the system, all the participants involved in the internal market need to be better informed and familiar with the new EU legislation and changes in the wine sector. That is why European experts are here to help us develop our tools and to rally to the conditions of the EU’s more complex system, a strategic market for Wine of Moldova.”
The first mission had as main objective to analyze the priority aspects of preventing and combating the counterfeiting of wine products marked with protected GI and DO, the registration stages and protection of geographical indications and designations of origin in the Republic of Moldova, as well as the study of aspects regarding the respect for intellectual property rights in the field of IG and DO. Another purpose of the mission was to analyze the difficulties and challenges faced by the institutions in charge of organizing wine sector control based on wine traceability and marking.
Bartolomeo Filadelfia, inspector and official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Tourism, Italy: “In any country, PGI/PDO application has a direct connection and contributes to the development of rural communities. In Moldova as well, we found a primordial need to create an effective control system and to apply global promotion strategies as tools for rural development through products with Protected Geographical Indication.”
The mission was followed by a workshop on traceability in the wine sector of wines with geographical indications, from the perspective of success stories of establishing efficient traceability systems in the wine sector, from grapevines to store shelves, through controls on grape and wines production with and without Protected Geographical Indication. The event provided counseling and guidance to officials from the Republic of Moldova, to inspectors and wine producers regarding the elements needed to develop an efficient traceability system in the wine sector, in the context of alignment with EU requirements, presenting the potential challenges for wine producers in the European integration process.
Alberto Francisco Ribeiro de Almeida, Head of the Legal Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Portugal: “Products with Protected Geographical Indication are guarantees which protect the investments made by producers, sometimes even by several generations. At the same time, they are important because they represent the unique and unmistakable image of a region, a territory, or a country in a globalized world.”
The visits included the familiarization of experts with the wine sector in Moldova, the presentation of the ONVV mission and the legal framework, meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development and Environment (MADRM) and the State Agency for Intellectual Property (AGEPI) as well as a series of trainings for collaborators of The National Office for Vine and Wine, the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, the National Agency for Food Safety, the State Agency for Intellectual Property, the Wine Producers Groups and Associations.
Due to the fruitful collaboration with the Italian side, in May this year, 5 representatives of the state institutions will make a visit to one of the wine regions of Italy, during which they will be acquainted with the good practices of attracting tourists and developing wine tourism through the production of PGI and PDO wines.
TAIEX is the European Commission’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange tool, which supports public administrations on the approximation and application of EU law, as well as facilitating the exchange of EU good practices. Expert missions are determined by the individual needs of the requesting countries and provide adequate expertise to address the problems in the shortest possible time.