Protected Designation of Origin - PDO. A mark provided for by European legislation, identifying an farming and food product which has two essential characteristics: it is produced only in a specific and well-identified area of production and the production technology boasts a historical and proven tradition. This word normally certifies processed products (cheeses, dressed pork products). Each product has disciplinary production regulations and a Consortium of producers.
Protected Geographical Indication - PGI. Provided for by European legislation, identifying food farming productions for which only cultivation or breeding or, as an alternative, processing and elaboration, take place in a specific area that gives the product its special characteristics. Mainly fresh and non-processed productions (fruit and vegetables) are certified with this mark. Here too, each product has disciplinary production regulations and an association of producers.
Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale (Traditional Food Farming Product). Products with this abbreviation are on a special regional list provided for by national regulations and are to some extent local, traditional, and related to the farming world of long ago. This list is one way of setting in order and clarifying the local and traditional nature of this region's products.
Denominazione di origine Controllata (Guarantee of Origin). This indicates wines produced in areas specifically marked off, usually of small or medium dimension. There are defined disciplinary production regulations and the wines are accepted for consumption following a procedure of chemical and sensorial analysis.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (Guarantee of Origin and Protected Designation of Origin - AOCG). This indicates AOC wines of particular quality and of national and international prominence. These wines are submitted to even stricter controls than those foreseen for AOC wines, and each bottle indicates the state that guarantees its origin and quality.
This does not mark a particular product, but certifies a production process. In other words, this mark on a product certifies that it has been obtained following organic farming methods, involving the prohibition of utilising pesticides and fertilisers of chemical synthesis. This method is officially recognised and codified by the European Union, which establishes also a system of control and certification.
Then there are other seals of a private and/or business nature, created by the various Consortiums and/or Associations to qualify and distinguish their own productions to enable the consumer to immediately identify them. You will find some examples in the descriptive notes of each product. With this, we would like to attract your attention to two particular seals which certify the multiplicity of the products and/or their course of production:
One is "Q", specifically applied to the fruit and vegetable sector, created in 2003 on the initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Cuneo, of the three Professional Farming Associations and of the Consumer Associations, and which has established a code of behaviour with shared regulations as regards direct sales of fruit and vegetable products. For all practical purposes, the agreement provides for introduction on the market of fruit and vegetables produced in the province at the correct stage of ripeness; residues inferior to 50% of the current regulation limits; technical advisory services to the enterprises; guarantee of production from the individual or associated farms concerned. Functioning of the system is guaranteed by means of controls carried out by an independent external body.
The other seal is "FATTORIA AMICA" established in 2000 on initiative of the Farmers' Federation (Federazione Coltivatori Diretti) and which distinguishes the farms that carry out direct sale of their products. Thanks to the so-called "filiera corta", which shortens many intermediary passages, farm producers can directly reach the final consumer through farm sales points and/or market stalls, or exhibition stands. In this way, the consumers receive guarantee of genuine products of origin, creating a relationship of mutual trust between producers and consumers, safeguarding and giving value to farm products and to the region that produces them. The enterprises subscribing to the seal are controlled by an outside Corporation.