Consortium of Slovenia’s EU protected foods set up

Ljubljana – A consortium of EU-wide protected crops and food products from Slovenia was established this week at the initiative of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association. The consortium will aim to promote the products, act as a united front in providing promotional funds and work on regulating the area, the association said.

The European Commission has so far protected 24 Slovenian products using the three EU labels known as protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI) and traditional speciality (TSG).

The consortium is comprised of the owners of the protected brands, including, among others, the Planika Dairy, the Bohinj cheese-making association, Salt Production, the association of olive growers of Slovenian Istria and the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association.

All the organisations will primarily seek to work together on ensuring promotional funds for the certified products as well as to come up with a joint promotional campaign.

Moreover, the consortium aims to come up with legislative proposals to regulate the area and provide information or raise alarm regarding illicit practices or brand abuse, the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association said.

Its head Boštjan Noč has been appointed the consortium’s representative for a period of two years. He highlighted the role of Slovenian EU protected food products on the occasion, describing them as part of the national identity.

“Unfortunately, I have to point out that Slovenian EU protected products are often times overlooked at the national level and depend solely on EU open calls, particularly in terms of promotion,” Noč noted, adding that his aim is to step up efforts to improve the situation and make sure the products become a mainstay of the menus in public institutions and state protocol buildings.

He would like to see the first joint promotional campaign to be launched this year. Noč also said that the Agricultural Ministry had pledged to include such promotional efforts in the national food promotion scheme from 2022 onwards.

The consortium will also strive to ensure co-funding for certification procedures and to beef up monitoring over brand abuse.

Its programme will be presented at the international agriculture and food fair Agra in August and at the International Trade Fair (MOS) in September.

The list of the protected brands includes among others Bovec, Nanos and Tolminc cheeses, extra virgin olive oil from Istria, forest honey from Kočevje, prleška tunka cured meat, belokranjska pogača bread, idrijski žlikrofi dumplings from Idrija, prekmurska gibanica cake from Prekmurje, Piran sea salt and Istrian prosciutto.