Parmesan cheese hails from Italy and is named after the producing area, the province of Parma. Champagne is a sparkling wine that hails from the hills of the Champagne region in France and German hops is an important ingredient for brewing beer.

Interestingly, these three items have something in common that is not immediately visible. All of them are protected by quality labels of the European Union (EU). These quality labels were introduced to protect the economic value and culinary heritage of specific regional products from Europe. Consumers profit from the strictly controlled labeling. They enable the discerning buyer to immediately distinguish real products from fake ones.

Food producers have to go through a rigorous regime of tests and legal procedures to obtain the EU certification. At first this seems like an overly arduous process, but it serves a noble goal – the assurance of quality of some of the most famous products from Europe.

Hops from German cultivation, for example, deserves its reputation for being a premium beer ingredient, because every hop lot is tested and certified for purity and pesticide content. It is grown in specific regions according to strict rules and can be traced back to the producing farm. As a result of this strict quality control process, beer producers can deliver a highly consistent beverage to meet the expectations of their discerning customers. All this is entailed in the EU quality labels.