Product Safety (CAP 427) and Subsidiary Legislation SL 427.52 and SL 427.53 –
Quality Food Products
The European Union (EU) initiated the current schemes for quality agriculture and food products with the required legislation in 1992, with the first products registered in 1996. The voluntary quality schemes protect the name of the product and give added value and prestige to such products and in addition provide consumers with further choice at point of purchase. The EU registered quality food products are not only safe and follow all the hygiene rules and food regulations, as required by the EU but go beyond those requisites in terms of quality.
All three schemes give the traditional origin of such products and relate it to a high, or at least some, degree to the geographical area from which the product originates and traditional knowledge in the process of manufacture.
Applications for the protection of a product name, in order for it to be recognised as a PDO or PGI or TSG, is coordinated and assessed by the Technical Regulations Division (TRD) of the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA), with the advice of the Standing Committee for Geographical Designations and Indications as given in the relevant subsidiary legislation: SL 427.52 and SL 427.53.
The majority of interested and relevant stakeholders (producers and manufacturers) must agree on the application in order for it to continue in the process, to be protected at a national level and then for it to be sent to the European Commission for further assessment.
If an application is accepted at EU level, then only the product as described and defined in the application would be able to be retailed and sold using the specific protected name. This will increase not only the perceived but intrinsic value of the product as an EU recognised quality food product. This gives more choice to consumers to choose from a wider range of quality products.