Protected agricultural products a part of Slovenian identity
EU legislation enables its members to protect their agricultural products and foodstuffs, known for their quality and tradition; namely, in three categories: protected geographical indication, protected designation of origin and traditional speciality guaranteed. Slovenia pays a lot of attention to the protection of its traditional products and has protected 14 wines and 16 products/foodstuffs through the European Union. Protected products in Slovenia, which we`ve been hearing a lot about lately, include the teran and Krainer sausage.
Slovenia is a country of great diversity, with plenty of tradition and customs, which are reflected in the variety of local and traditional agricultural products and foodstuffs. The most pleasant way of understanding Slovenia is certainly to taste Slovenian local and traditional dishes and food products. That raises the question of how to identify products that are authentic and protected in Slovenia.
So far, Slovenia has protected 14 wines and 16 agricultural products through the European Union. At the end of this past April, the European media wrote a lot about Slovenian protected products and foodstuffs, especially the teran and Krainer sausage.
Slovenia registered the teran as protected designation of origin; in the database of the E-Baccus committee, it can be found under the code PDO-SI-A1581. In the same manner, it has registered in total 14 wines, including cviček and metliška črnina. Moreover, Slovenia has registered 16 agricultural products from Slovenia with EU quality designations - protected geographical indication, protected designation of origin or traditional speciality guaranteed. These include tolminc cheese, extra virgin olive oil from Slovenian Istria, Nanos cheese, forest honey from Kočevje, belokranjska pogača, idrijski žlikrofi, prekmurska gibanica, kraška panceta, Styrian-Prekmurje pumpkin seed oil, prleška tünka, zgornjesavinjski želodec, šebreljski želodec, ptujski lük, kraški pršut, kraški zašink and Bovec cheese.
In accordance with a European Commission Decision, teran is protected in the EU market as Slovenian wine; therefore, no Croatian wine can enter the market with this name – on the other hand, Croatia would like to find a solution with a common cross-border protection. In Slovenia and other EU Member States, selling non-Slovenian wine with this name is not allowed. After the entry of Croatia in the EU, this will also not be allowed on the Croatian market.
Slovenian manufacturers of teran have had a rulebook for years that determines what teran is. It is defined by vine type, geographical location and some sensory and chemical wine characteristics. On the basis of these characteristics, Slovenia protected teran in the EU market with protected designation of origin. Croatia has similar situation, prior to their entry to the EU, with the Dalmatian sweet wine prošek. According to Brussels, the name is too similar to prosecco, the Italian sparkling wine.
Besides the teran discussion, there has been also a discussion between the Slovenian and Croatian Ministry of Agriculture with regard to the topic of Krainer sausage. Last February, the Official Gazette of the EU published a summary of the Slovenian application for geographical protection of the Krainer sausage. Following an appeal by Austria, Germany and Croatia, Slovenia has agreed with Austria and Germany regarding the protection of the Krainer sausage, while such an agreement was not reached with Croatia. The Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture must inform the European Commission about the subject by 24 May, when a decision will be made.
The reached preliminary agreement between Slovenia and Austria will guarantee an appropriate protection of the Krainer sausage at the EU level. At the same time, producers in Austria, considering specific conditions, will be able to continue with the production of their products that contain the word ‘kranjski’ (Krainer). Following, Austria will continue to use traditional names for these types of sausages - Käsekrainer, Schweinskrainer, Osterkrainer and Bauernkrainer. The indicated economic association estimated that there is no danger that these sausages could be mistaken for the Krainer sausage.
An agreement was reached for the use of the name Krainer; namely, in Austria, it cannot be used for the production of meat products anymore. Moreover, it is also important that the indicated names are not to be translated into other languages – there will be no such limitation for the protected name ‘Krainer sausage’. The Ministry of Agriculture says that, in this way, the Austrian product Käsekrainer will not be sold in Slovenia as a Krainer sausage with cheese, which could confuse the buyers. On the contrary, Slovenian producers will have the possibility of translating the name ‘Krainer sausage’ to all languages, including to "Krainer Wurst" in German speaking countries.