In order to have this name, Piadina Romagnola PGI must be produced only in the territory of Romagna, both for industrial and artisan production. That is what the EU Court decided, underlining that there is a link between the reputation of this product and its geographical origin. In dismissing an action brought by an Italian company, the Court stressed that the link exists on the basis of human factors. In fact, thanks to the production techniques of piadina transmitted from generation to generation in Romagna, initially for immediate consumption and then for deferred consumption, and thanks to the social and cultural events organized by the population of Romagna, the consumer associates the image of Piadina Romagnola, regardless of the methods of craftsmanship or industry, with the territory of Romagna.
According to Italian farmers’ association, Coldiretti, the decision of the EU Court of Justice gives rise to a clear contradiction. In fact, the EU Court prevents the production of Piadina PGI outside Romagna even when the European Union signed free trade agreements, from Canada to Japan, that do not provide any protection for the same product. On the contrary – underlines Coldiretti – food piracy is being legitimized to the detriment of the most prestigious Made in Italy products, explicitly giving green light to imitations that exploit the names of typical national products including piadina from Romagna. While the agreement with Japan provides for the protection of just 18 Italian agri-food geographical indications out of a total of 293 (just 6%) and 28 wines and spirits out of a total of 523 designations of origin and geographical indications recognized in Italy (5%), the agreement with Canada only protects 15%. moreover, this gives explicit free way to local imitations that take advantage of some italian names, from Asiago to Fontina, from Gorgonzola to Parma and San Daniele hams. In Canada, Parmigiano Reggiano can even be freely produced and marketed with the wording ‘Parmesan’.