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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » August 1, 2014
Polska… tastes good!
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Three Labels Campaign: Taste and Tradition
August 1, 2014   
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A government-backed campaign advises consumers in Poland about three European Union programs designed to promote and protect quality agricultural products and food.

Called Trzy Znaki Smaku (Three Labels of Taste), the campaign was launched last year by the Agricultural Market Agency with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The campaign seeks to spread awareness about three labels used in the EU to protect regional and traditional specialties. These are Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG). So far, 36 quality agricultural products and foodstuffs in Poland have received one of the three labels, with further products seeking and awaiting registration.

The Trzy Znaki Smaku campaign promotes quality food and encourages Polish consumers to buy foodstuffs produced in compliance with the EU system.
- Unlike mass-produced food, regional and traditional products are subject to restrictive production and inspection rules to ensure high quality.
- The production process must follow strict rules, and it is possible to trace the history of a given product.
- The products match contemporary, environmentally friendly lifestyles.
- Each specialty owes its distinctive features to the specific region in which it was made, and to traditional preparation methods.
- The exceptional features of such products are the outcome of a tradition shaped by generations.
- It is illegal to market products that imitate food protected under the EU system.

The Protected Designation of Origin label is intended for quality agricultural products and foodstuffs whose names refer to the specific geographical area in which they were produced, highlighting the connection between the location and the product. All ingredients in the labeled product need to originate from this area and the product itself has to be entirely manufactured in this area. The label can be given to agricultural products meant for human consumption, including produce and products obtained through animal breeding and fishery. Applications for one of the three labels can also be submitted for foodstuffs such as beer, bread, cakes and other baked goods.

Like the Protected Designation of Origin, the Protected Geographical Indication label is awarded to quality regional products and foodstuffs whose names refer to the specific geographical area in which they were produced, highlighting the connection between the location and the product. This label, however, means that at least one production phase takes place in the area to which the name refers.

Agricultural products and foodstuffs eligible for the Traditional Specialties Guaranteed label have traditional names that refer to the distinctive qualities of such products or traditionally given to them. Food with this label needs to be made from traditional ingredients according to traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation, or using traditional methods. The Traditional Speciality Guaranteed label can be awarded to agricultural products meant for human consumption, foodstuffs and ready-made dishes.

The Trzy Znaki Smaku campaign is mainly targeted at consumers, food producers (farmers, processing businesses in the food and agricultural sector, associations of producers and others) and indirect buyers, including grocery retailers, wholesalers and distributors, hotel and restaurant owners and graduates of catering schools.

With a highly diversified target group such as this, a wide range of objectives has been identified for the Trzy Znaki Smaku campaign. One of the priorities is to make the public familiar with the three labels, encouraging growing consumption of such products. The campaign also advises food producers and indirect buyers about the benefits of taking part in the EU programs.

The campaign goals are being pursued through press conferences, road shows, online newsletters, articles promoting the three EU programs on popular blogs and promotional activities in social media such as Facebook and YouTube. Part of the campaign are educational activities designed to establish and strengthen relations between producers and trade insiders who deal with regional and traditional products. The educational side of the campaign includes seminars, training, culinary workshops and the Regional Products Trail project whereby tourist maps are specifically designed to indicate where such products are available.

The Trzy Znaki Smaku campaign is also present at trade fairs and festivals, such as the Flavors Festival in Gruczno, the National Festival of Good Taste in Poznań, the European Taste Festival in Lublin, the Eurogastro Fair in Warsaw, the Polagra-Food Fair in Poznań, and the Horeca/Gastrofood Fair in Cracow. The campaign has its stands at these events and encourages certified producers of food with the three EU labels to take part in the project.

Advertising for the campaign involves the mass media, the internet and outdoor displays. Promotional activities will also be conducted at points of sale, restaurants, boarding houses and farms with accommodation for tourists.

The Trzy Znaki Smaku campaign is financed by the EU and the Polish government with an almost 3.9-million-euro budget approved by the European Commission.

This article makes use of content available
on the www.trzyznakismaku.pl website
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