The Italians are known to keep their cuisine and their products sacred. Now Italy wants to protect the name “Aceto Balsamico”. The government in Rome has asked the European Commission to open an infringement procedure against Slovenia to protect vinegar from Modena. The Consortium for the Protection of Balsamic Vinegar announced this on Monday.
The consortium criticizes the action taken by Slovenia, which in recent months has submitted to the European Commission a national technical regulation for the production and marketing of vinegar, “which not only clearly contravenes Community rules and the principle of harmonization of European legislation, but also aims to make the term ‘balsamic vinegar’ a standard term,” the consortium said in a statement. According to Slovenia, all wine vinegars mixed with grape must “Aceto Balsamico” (balsamic vinegar) are called.
Be able to follow legal steps before the ECJ
The first step after the initiation of the infringement procedure is a consultation phase with the European Commission. If necessary, a lawsuit can follow before the European Court of Justice, the consortium announced. Slovenia’s position has been the subject of action for months.
“The opening of infringement proceedings against Slovenia gives us courage, the government in Rome is confirmed on our side. After months of waiting and worry, we are finally seeing a glimmer of hope,” said the consortium’s president, Mariangela Grosoli. The Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture replied that the issue of vinegar is not regulated in the EU. Each country can have its own rules.
Balsamic vinegar from Modena with quality mark
Balsamic vinegar is a specialty that is unique in the world and is produced in the northern Italian province of Modena. It is obtained through the traditional processing of grape must and wine vinegar, which are refined in fine wood barrels, giving them a special aroma and bouquet. In the north of Modena there are a number of manufacturers and suppliers of the world famous vinegar “Aceto Balsamico di Modena”, which are allowed to bear the special quality seal.