France’s National Institute for Quality and Origin (INAO), the public organization responsible for the regulation of French Geographic Indications and quality labels, celebrates in 2015 its 80th anniversary. In France, there are only seven state-regulated signs of quality and origin:

  •  AOC (Controlled designation of origin);
  • PDO (Protected Designation of Origin);
  • PGI (Protected Geographic Indication);
  • The Organic Label (Agriculture biologique, AB);
  • Label Rouge (Red Label);
  • TSG (Traditional Specialty Guarantee).

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To honor this anniversary and the positive impact that these labels have had on French agriculture, a conference organized by the INAO will take place on April 16th, 2015 in Avignon (Southern France), at which the French Agricultural Minister Stéphane Le Foll will be present.

The objective of the conference in Avignon is to present and debate the manner in which the quality and origin signs can be used as strategic tools to grasp the present and future stakes pertaining to rural agriculture. It will primarily be the occasion for farmers and partners to unite and discuss among them the myriad assets and advantages of these quality and origin signs, as well as convey their importance to the younger generation of farmers, processers and agri-business entrepreneurs. A constructive, open discussion of the policies and regulations on quality and origin signs will also help them to adopt practices that meet the quality and origin requirements.

The INAO has certified over one thousand products since its creation in 1935, currently maintaining a pace of about five new additions each year with up to twenty under evaluation at any given time. Currently in France, one out of every four farms produces at least one product covered by one of INAO’s six labels.
The proof of these signs’ success is in the demand for the products they designate. Products with these State-approved have been shown to please consumers. What started as labeling system exclusively for wine evolved to encompass the spectrum of the agrifood industry.

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INAO’s accomplishments in figures:

The institute has certified over one thousand products since its creation in 1935, representing:

  • 350 AOC (Controlled Origin Appellation) French wines;
  • 95 PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) French agri-food products;
  • 74  PGI (Protected Geographic Indication) French wines;
  • 120 PGI agrifood products;
  • 410 red label (label rouge) products.