Bulgaria has filed applications for entry of Bulgarian yoghurt and white brined cheese as Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) in the European Register of Protected Designations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs. They are submitted by the Bulgarian Traditional Dairy Products Association. A commission at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has reviewed all attached documents and application specifications during the national application processing procedure. A number of working meetings have been held with representatives of the association, in order the texts, notes and comments to be reflected and refined.
The European Commission will start a procedure for reviewing the documentation, which should not exceed six months. In the event it does, the Commission has to give the reasons for the delay in writing. Third countries and EU Member States express objections under the procedure, and if no such objections are raised, the names will be included in the European register. This procedure offers better income opportunities to producers based on the qualities of their products. The food products'names will be protected as intellectual property in the EU and rom unauthorized use or imitation as well as to protect the interests of Bulgarian manufacturers against unfair competition and abuse at the market. Products with protected geographical indication can be included in agreements between the EU and third countries for mutual recognition, cooperation and protection of the geographic designation area. This improves the Bulgarian products 'competitiveness and access to new markets.
The registration of Bulgarian yoghurt and Bulgarian white brine cheese will lead to protection and affirmation of the good reputation and high quality of these traditional Bulgarian dairy products.
Our country has already registered in the European Register of Protected Geographical Indications Gornooryahovski Sudzhuk and Bulgarian Rose Oil, as well as five foods with traditional specific character - Fillet Elena, Panagyurska Lukanka, Rolet Trapezitsa, Kaiser pork neck and Beef jerky. They are included in the European Register of Foodstuffs with a traditional specific character. Another Bulgarian food product included in the EU list of protected geographical indications is the Strandzha manna honey - a dark brown honey is produced in the region of Strandzha Mountain. It was the first Bulgarian product with a Protected Designation of Origin.
Regarding wines, 54 Bulgarian wines are registered at European level - 52 with Protected Designation of Origin and 2 with Protected Geographical Indication.