Preserves & Sauces

S. Marzano Tomato PDO Renamed to Avoid Counterfeiting

In three months from now the typical Italian preserved tomato will change its name on EU’s regulatory documents to be called again ‘San Marzano’

In 90 days from now, the S. Marzano tomato of the Agro Sarnese – Nocerino PDO will be officially called again ‘San Marzano’ tomato of the Agro Sarnese – Nocerino PDO. Two letters can make the difference, when it comes to protect the brand of a PDO Italian typical product from the “risks of confusion, to say it like Fabio Grimaldi – the president of the Consortium for the Protection of the S. Marzano Tomato of Agro Sarnese Nocerino. Or should we say San Marzano Consortium? “The question is subtleGrimaldi explains -. When the PDO certification was established 22 years ago, in the passage of documents between the Campania Region, the Ministry of Agriculture and the European Union someone at some point thought that writing ‘S. Marzano’ was the same as putting it, ‘San Marzano’, in full. So in Brussels the PDO mark became the one with the ‘S.’.”


It is a pity that there were already some regularly registered varieties called S. Marzano 2, S. Marzano 3 and so on. What happened then? That anyone who wanted to write on his cans ‘S. Marzano preserves’ could do it legally. In fact it indicated that those peeled tomatoes were made with a certain variety of tomato provided by the registered EU certifications. But writing ‘S. Marzano’ “evokes, at least, the PDO trademark”, explains Grimaldi. In short, nothing fraudulent: however, those who buy that tin could be led to think that they are buying a PDO product, even when it is not.


Every year the Consortium produces 100 tons of preserved tomato. In fact, “San Marzano PDO does not mean a fresh product, but a preserved one – Crimaldi recalls -. We are talking about peeled or fillets products, made with tomatoes of the Kiros variety”. In order to protect them, the Consortium finally had to face the entire process of amending the regulations. And it took more than a year. Three more months from now and finally the PDO product will be called again ‘San Marzano’. After that, for the fake peeled products there will be no possibility of confusion. Provided that the Consortium changes its coat of arms. To date, on the official website itsquality seal is still reading ‘S. Marzano’.

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