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Piedmont region in Brussels: war for gianduiotto

President Cirio hears Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski

There are already those who, without too much imagination, let’s say it, called it the war of gianduiotto. Yet there is something true, since the dispute between the Swiss Lindt and the typically Piedmontese chocolate, is active on the tables of Brussels. It is the Piedmont Region, with an official statement, to have raised the shields to protect the name and invoice (and quality) of this typical product of the Turin manufacturing. 

"The president of the Piedmont Region, Alberto Cirio, said in the document, brought to the attention of the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, the issue of the recognition of the name of Gianduiotto Piemonte IGP. With them also the master chocolatier Guido Castagna, coordinator of the Committee promoting the recognition of the Gianduiotto Piemonte IGP, and the lawyer Antonio Borra".

The meeting, which took place yesterday in video-link, was announced at the beginning of the week at the end of a discussion organized by president Cirio with representatives of the Regional Council, representatives of the Promoting Committee of the brand gianduiotto IGP of Turin, led by the chocolatier Castagna and Borra and a representation of 40 local companies, from big as Ferrero, Domori and Venchi to artisans, as Gobino and La Perla. 

"The chocolate of cocoa and hazelnuts is a trademark owned by Turin and Piedmont not by a single company, Italian or Swiss", announced the president of the Region warning that it would bring the challenge with the Lindt Swiss in Rome and Brussels. 

"Commissioner Wojciechowski -the footnote points out- thanked the Region for pointing out this problem and assured that in compliance with European rules on the protection of denominations, will do everything in its power to defend the link between product brands and their city or region of origin. In the light of the checks carried out, the Region and the Committee intend to continue the request forwarded to the Ministry, some today even more than yesterday of the correctness of their claims to the protection of their territory".

"The IGP recognition -says the president Cirio- does not want to be a commercial brand, but a tool to ensure this excellence confectionery as a common heritage of all Piedmont and chocolatiers who will follow the authentic recipe".

During the last meeting, the stages of the process of recognition of the name, which began in March 2022, were traced, to which the Region gave a positive opinion in September of the same year. The practice is now being examined by the ministry of Agriculture for the opposition of Caffarel (Lindt group), the company of Luserna San Giovanni to which we owe the first industrial recipe of chocolate. It is she, or rather the Swiss parent company Lindt, to have blocked the approval of the disciplinary deemed "incompatible" with "the authentic gianduiotto": according to the Swiss protesters, in fact, provides too many nuts (30,45%) and no milk powder.

As many experts have pointed out, what annoys is that in fact, for almost incomprehensible reasons, if you exclude some purely economic motivation (that of gianduiotto is a chain that alone is worth over 200 million Euro), Zurich "wants to decide how to make the gianduiotto of Turin. For this reason Lindt proposes a specification that provides a percentage of milk to 10%, although in 1865 when Caffarel industrialized the product, milk powder had not yet been invented. Not only that: the Swiss also demand a lower amount of hazelnuts, more or less around 26% compared to the current 30,45%". 

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EFA News - European Food Agency