Canada and EU strike deal over trade names

  • Thursday 26 June 2003

Canada and the EU have agreed to stop using copycat labelling in a wine and spirits trade deal that spells the end of 'Canadian Bordeaux' and European-labelled 'Rye Whisky'.

The new deal is intended to lead to the phasing out of all generic trade names with strong geographical links, such as Bordeaux, Port and Sherry. In return, Canada will have protection for Rye Whisky.

EU agriculture commissioner Franz Fischler, who has welcomed the 'balanced' arrangement and called upon EU ministers to quickly approve it, said, 'Canada is a very good customer for European wines and spirits. This agreement provides a solid framework for the harmonious development of bilateral commerce.'

To start with, the use in Canada of Bordeaux, Chianti, Claret, Madeira, Malaga, Marsala, Medoc and Mosel will be banned for all but European products. Grappa and Ouzo will follow in two years time, with Burgundy, Rhine and Sauternes banned from use in Canada by 2009. By 2014, labelling Canadian-made products Chablis, Champagne, Port and Sherry will too be outlawed. The EU is to protect Rye Whisky as a distinctive Canadian trade name.

The agreement also ensures that winemaking practices and whisky standards in both Canada and the EU conform to strict quality criteria.

European wine and food trade bodies continue to lobby EU negotiators for a similar phasing out of geographically-linked generic trade names in America.

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