Sonimpex hope you like jamming too
The name of some European regions is synonymous with particular specialist foods and beverages. The EU grants Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to ensure that only cheese from Gorgonzola in Italy, or sparkling wine from Champagne in France can use their region's name in branding and marketing. The same is true for Topoloveni Magiun, a plum jam from Romania's Topoloveni region. For Sonimpex, the manufacturer, this added protection makes trade agreements a deciding factor when considering new markets. That is because EU trade deals include PGIs which offer a legal safeguard against unfair competition.
The trade agreement and the protected geographical indication together work as a guarantee of our quality
Diana Stanciulov, General Manager at Sonimpex
From 2008, they focussed on selling Topoloveni Magiun in jars under their own brand, rather than in bulk. With this, Sonimpex began looking to new markets and participating in trade fairs and exhibitions across the world. This new strategy also led to 'progress in product quality and national and international recognition of this quality', according to Ms Stanciulov.
In 2011, the European Commission granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to Topoloveni Magiun. This certification recognises the product's quality and the unique relationship between the region and the product, and ensures that the product is protected from unfair competition. Trade agreements are vital in ensuring that PGIs are recognised and protected outside the EU. Ms Stanciulov says, 'when we entered the Japanese and Canadian markets, we were pleasantly surprised that our product was safeguarded by the Protected Geographical Indication due to the trade agreements'.