European Certification System


DOP and IGP products represent the excellence of European agricultural food production, and are both the result of a unique combination of human and environmental factors that are characteristic of a specific territory. This is why the European Union dictates precise regulations for their protection, creating specific quality standard regimes that protect the good faith of the consumers and with the purpose of giving producers concrete instruments for identifying and promoting products with specific characteristics in a better way, as well as protecting them from unfair practices.


Regulation (EU) no. 1151/2012 (article 5) scrupulously describes the meaning of the acronyms DOP and IGP, specifying that:

  • The label DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta - Protected Designation of Origin) identifies a product that originates in a specific place, region or country, the quality or characteristics of which are essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment with its inherent natural factors (raw materials, environmental characteristics, location) and human factors (traditional and craft production) and the production, transformation and elaboration phases of which all take place in the defined geographical area, in respect of rigid production regulations established in the procedural guidelines of production.
  • The label IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta - Protected Geographical Indication) indicates a product that originates in a specific place, region or country, whose given quality, reputation or other characteristic is essentially attributable to its geographical origin, and for which at least one of the production steps takes place in the defined geographical area. Only those production processes that demonstrate a consolidated and coded production tradition, an inseparable bond with the territory of origin, a suitable social-business fabric and which manage to reach high quality standards that are certified by third party control organisations can hope to obtain and preserve the coveted recognition of the community and contemporary entrance into the European register of DOP and IGP products.

Why choose cheese that benefits from a quality signature:

  • Because it offers consumers the guarantee that typical, authentic and quality products are being bought, which are part of the food heritage of the European Union Countries.
  • Because it enhances the work of the producers, thanks to the creation of an additional value that protects those same producers against imitations, forgeries and unfair competition.
  • Because it encourages the maintenance and development of the territories, local economy and agricultural and food differences.

DOP and IGP in figures* (excluding wine, spirits and aromatised wine)
In 2017, the European Union has 622 DOP and 716 IGP.


Italy is the European country with the highest number of designation of origin and geographical indication agricultural food products recognised by the European Union. This is an additional demonstration of the high quality of national production, but above all of the strong bond that connects Italian agricultural food production excellences with their territory of origin. In Italy a total of 291 DOP and IGP products are registered (updated April 2017: excluding wine and spirits). In the same way as for the other European Union countries, they include a large number of agricultural food products (dairy, meat, chicken salami, fish, fruit and vegetables, cereals, pasta, olives and olive oil, condiments, honey, cakes…):

166 DOP


Examples: Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Toscano, Piave, Montasio,  Parma Ham, Tuscany Ham, potatoes from Bologna, Bronte pistachio nuts, Ribera oranges, Balsamic vinegar from Modena...

125 IGP


Examples: Sardinian lamb, Valtellina Bresaola, Speck Alto Adige, Sicilian red oranges, Red Apples from Cuneo, Vignola cherries, Tropea red onions, Syracuse lemons, Piedmont hazelnuts, Gragnano pasta, Balsamic vinegar from Modena...

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