World vinegar dispute between Italy and Slovenia over balsamic vinegar.
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Italy's vinegar manufacturers are entering a new round in their persistent battle for the quality and name of their products.
They are currently fighting with the competition in Slovenia. The Consortium for the Protection of Aceto Balsamico di Modena feels under attack from the small, eastern neighboring country. The government there has submitted an application to the EU for a “national technical standard”, which they reject from the ground up, argues the association from Modena in Emilia-Romagna.
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Because then there would be a stipulation that “all wine vinegars mixed with grape must” could be called “Aceto Balsamico” (balsamic vinegar), explains Federico Desimoni, director of the association. “That contradicts European law,” he says. For the manufacturers, this also comes too close to their protected regional brand “from Modena”. There could be mix-ups, according to the association. The vinegar dispute is not just about components and names, but about a billion dollar business, as the Italian newspaper "Il Sole 24 Ore" emphasized.
In Slovenia, the newspaper «Delo» gave the opinion of the local Ministry of Agriculture, according to which the subject of vinegar is not regulated in the EU. Every country can issue regulations. Ljubljana submitted the draft of its plans to the EU Commission at the end of 2020. If Brussels takes a position, that will be taken into account, it said.
In Italy, Minister of Agriculture Stefano Patuanelli intervened. "Protection of the cultural heritage" of its own manufacturers is a high priority for Rome, he was quoted by the Ansa news agency. The government will do everything possible to defend the balsamic vinegar against attacks. An important deadline in the dispute with the EU expires on March 3. The manufacturer consortium has already disputed the term before several German courts and the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
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