PDO & PGI protection
The European Commission has created a protection system that ties dietary products of excellence to the territory of their origin, with real seals of quality:
The “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO) identifies products originating in a specific region in which all phases of production and transformation are carried out, and from which the specific characteristics of the product are derived.
The “Protected Geographical Indication” (PGI) is attributed to those products whose quality, reputation or particular characteristics depend on the geographical area in which at least one phase of production is carried out.
Balsamic vinegar has a very long tradition, handed down from generation to generation and based on a few rare documents. Over time, with the opening of markets, producers felt the need to protect the uniqueness of their product.
Over the years, balsamic vinegar has received three different protected designations:
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO (2000)
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia PDO (2000)
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI (2009)
Like all products that are linked to a seal of quality, balsamic vinegars must also respect extremely strict guidelines regarding production, which regulate both production and commercial requirements.
The guidelines for Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO contain 8 articles which describe the characteristics and obligations, pertaining to both production as well as packaging, in great detail.
All directives for the production of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI, on the other hand, are contained within Regulation (CE) N. 583/2009: which grapes can be used? Which is the area of production? What are the characteristics and processing methods? What must be reproduced on the label?
The Protection Consortia came into being to protect and promote PDO and PGI productions.
Born as a voluntary association, they are the guardians of the guidelines regarding balsamic vinegar and oversee their application, as well as monitoring the market for the safeguarding of the authenticity of the product and representing the institutional voice of production companies.
The two consortia that protect Balsamic Vinegar of Modena are the Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and the more recent Consortium for the Protection of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
Acetum, with its own President, Cesare Mazzetti, was at the head of the Consortium for the Protection of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena for two terms. Today he is vice-president, and sits on the Advisory Board of both consortia.