5th November 2014
Albion Stone, the world’s leading supplier of Portland Stone, commented this week on a green paper on the Geographical Identification (GI) designation for non-agricultural products prepared by the EU.
The green paper, if adopted, will seek to protect non-agricultural products such as natural stone, to the same level that is currently enjoyed by agricultural products such as Champagne.
Currently, importers can rename stones and market them as renowned historical stones that are linked to a certain geographical area with known technical properties. For example, Yorkstone is renowned as an excellent paving stone with superb slip resistance. There are now many imported stones, particularly from China, that are also being sold as ‘Yorkstone’, often named after country mansions such as Chatsworth House to give them a reassuring heritage reference.
Individual or collectively the Yorkstone producers are currently able to embark on legal action, but the costs are prohibitive and results are uncertain. Even if they are successful, the importers can simply open a new importation business and start the whole process again.
“The Green Paper consists of two parts. The first part asks about the current means of protection provided at national and EU level and the potential economic, social and cultural benefits that could be achieved by improved GI protection in the EU.
The second part includes more technical questions to seek the views of interested parties on possible options for EU-level GI protection for non-agricultural products.”
To view the full response from Albion Stone click here
View the full report here