Floriculture and territory - the protection of the traditional Italian tipicity: the case of “La Camelia del Lago Maggiore (PGI)”

M. Caser, A. Berruti, R. Bizioli, V. Bianciotto, M. Devecchi, V. Scariot
European Union legislation reserves specific labelling for typical products of a particular quality by offering three quality schemes: Protected Denominations of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) and Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG). PDO and PGI concern products characterized by a defined bond to a particular 'milieu géographique' and bearing a geographical trade name, consolidating the product on the market. Thus, both PDO and PGI certify the existence of a link between a product and its place of origin, yet the two differ with regard to the intensity of such a bond. The camellias of the Lake Maggiore area represent an example of a typical product of floriculture that needs to be protected and enhanced. In the first half of the 19th century, Europeans became enamoured with camellias and they were imported and planted in gardens and parks, in the many pedoclimatically suitable environmental niches, with particular regard to some Italian areas. This flowering plant was successfully introduced on the shores of the Lake Maggiore (Piedmont, Italy). For nearly 200 years local growers have developed expertise on camellia cultivation but have recently been very open to experimenting. We hereby present the story behind the strategic decisions that are leading a consortium of growers and processing firms from the Lake Maggiore area to enroll the typical local camellias, i.e., “La Camelia del Lago Maggiore (PGI)”, for registration at the Community register of PGI. Major steps prior to enrollment have consisted first in a historical, archival and bibliographical research about the introduction and the cultivation of camellias in this area. After that, the characteristics that make this local product qualitatively different from those produced in other areas of the world have been identified. In addition, the typical cultivation protocol has been outlined through technical meetings and structured interviews to the growers.
Caser, M., Berruti, A., Bizioli, R., Bianciotto, V., Devecchi, M. and Scariot, V. (2018). Floriculture and territory - the protection of the traditional Italian tipicity: the case of “La Camelia del Lago Maggiore (PGI)”. Acta Hortic. 1191, 241-250
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1191.33
protected geographical indications, flowering plants, Camellia spp., sustainable cultivation, european union legislation

Acta Horticulturae