Commission okays protected geographical indication status for Estonian Vodka

The European Commission has satisfied an application of the companies Estonian Spirit OU and Remedia AS to register Estonian Vodka as a protected geographical indication, informs LETA/BNS.

Estonian vodka is the first product of  - writes

"Receiving the indication is a major recognition for the Estonianfood sector. It demonstrates that we are able to make products that deserve recognition in all of Europe," Estonia's Minister of Rural Affairs Tarmo Tammsaid in a press release.

"Protected geographicalindication makes a product more valuable and is definitely good for exporting the product and improving competitiveness. It informs the consumer about the technology used in the production process, the product's properties and special nature," Tamm said.

The Commission assigned Estonian Vodka as a protected geographicalindication to vodka in the production of which ethyl alcohol made from raw materials grown in Estonia and Estonian water were used. The indication can be used exclusively on the labeling of vodka manufactured observing the requirements set out in the technical file.

The procedure of the application ofEstonian SpiritOU andRemediaAS to grant protected geographical indication (PGI) status to Estonian Vodka lasted more than four years.

The Estonian vodka maker ASLivikocontinues to be opposed to the requirement that Estonian water must be used throughout the process of the manufacture of vodka in order for the product to qualify for the protected geographical indication of Estonian Vodka.

Should that be necessary,Livikois prepared to remove the phrase from the labeling of its vodka, Liviko CEO Janek Kalvi told BNS on Friday.

"Today we use Estonian grain, we use Estonian water, we pay Estonian taxes, we produce this vodka in Estonia. Our vodka is full 100 percent Estonian vodka; this one nuance that we do not buy our spirit from one single company does not make it less Estonian vodka in our opinion," Kalvi said.

He said that Estonian Spiritis not suited for Liviko because of its quality.

"Under all circumstances it's clear that we will not yield on quality, on our principles. We will not make changes to our fundamental values because of this, if necessary we will make some changes to the label," Kalvi said.

An Estonian court in February 2015 did not satisfy a request ofLivikoto stop forwarding to the European Commission the application seeking to establish the requirement for vodka bearing the Estonian Vodka geographical indication to be made using spirit produced in Estonia.Livikofiled the action arguing that the requirement for the use of local water contained in the technical file of the product to be designated as Estonian Vodka has no effect on the specific nature of the end product and is thus disproportionate and will unreasonablyprejudice the free movement of goods on the EU internal market.

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