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Grappa and brandy: New Zealand opens to free trade with the EU

Assodistil is satisfied with the agreement that ensures protection for Italian spirits

Last March 25, New Zealand notified the European Union of its ratification of the free trade agreement, discussions of which have been on the table for years, and which saw the EU's accession last November. The new Free Trade Agreement, which will come into force on May 1st, includes full protection of spirit drinks with geographical indications including Italian Brandy, Grappa and all territorial GI Grappas: these names will now be reserved for tricolor spirits also in New Zealand.

Italian association of distillers AssoDistil, which has closely collaborated with the institutions to achieve maximum protection for national GI distillates, expresses full satisfaction with the result achieved. “We are particularly proud of the outcome achieved,” states Cesare Mazzetti , president of the AssoDistil Spirits and Liqueurs Committee, “as our intervention prevented the Grappa name from being used without time limits for a distillate produced in New Zealand, such as initially foreseen in the draft agreement".

"Unlike, in fact, other renowned products with protected denominations, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, for which the principle of 'grandfathering' has been applied whereby these denominations can be used without time limits by those who already used them", added Mazzetti , "a five-year phasing out period has been obtained for Grappa, during which those who have continuously used this name will have to gradually abandon it, to the full advantage of Italian producers". Although small and distant, New Zealand thus becomes a market promising for Italian Grappa and Brandy, on which Italian producers will now be able to focus on the exclusive use of the denomination, concludes the Assodistil note.

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EFA News - European Food Agency