The references of quality and origin
Agricultural labels attest that a foodstuff or an unprocessed, non-food agricultural product possesses a distinct set of qualities and characteristics that have been predetermined by specifications that establish a level of quality superior to the common everyday product. These products must distinguish themselves from similar products, notably by particular conditions of production and manufacturing.
The agricultural label "Label Rouge" (Red Label) has been in existence since 1965 and the mark "label rouge," which is compulsory, is owned by the State (the Ministry of Agriculture).
Organic production methods avoid synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and are environmentally friendly. Organic farming is defined by specific production practices (use of green fertiliser, natural techniques in the fight against parasites, ...) and adherence to a limited list of approved fertilisation, treatment, storage and conservation products.
The "AB" logo is a trademark belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
A European Organic Farming logo has also been in existence, since the year 2000.
Appellation d'Origine (Contrôlée - AOC) , or Appellation of Origin (Controlled)
An appellation of origin is the geographical name of a country, region, or locality which serves to designate a product originating therein, the quality and characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographic environment, including natural and human factors.
Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP), or Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
In 1992, a European sign equivalent to the French AOC was created: the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO, or AOP in French), which is awarded to certain agricultural and food products other than wines and spirits.
Indication géographique protégée (IGP), or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
A Protected Geographical Indication label serves to designate a foodstuff or agricultural product originating in a region or a specific place, which derives a portion of its specificity from this origin.
To simplify, one can say that in the case of a PDO, the particular characteristics of a product are primordially connected to its origin whereas with a PGI, the link between its particular characteristics and its origin is only partial.
Spécialité traditionnelle garantie (STG), or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG)
This European mark guarantees that a food product was manufactured using traditional methods. Such a product does not present (or no longer presents) a connection to its geographical origins. A TSG sanctions a recipe. As regards French goods, TSG is established upon the basis of fulfilling a label‘s specifications or upon certification of conformity.
Certification of product conformity
Established in 1988, this certification primarily concerns the following products: meat, grains, fruit and vegetables, poultry, eggs and cooked meat products.
The specifications are often formulated by a group of professionals, and subsequently controlled by a certification body accredited by the state. The specifications (or technical references) can be a standard or a normative document type.
Certification of conformity is not a guarantee of superior quality. It must always be distinguished by at least two specific characteristics (the feed used, or whether animals are raised free-roaming, for instance), thereby bringing something more to the product than strict adherence to the most basic of specifications. The certified characteristics must be meaningful, objective and measurable (for example, pigs fed with 70% grain) and must be specified on the labeling.
Excerpts: DGCCRF 2011/Signs of quality, Consumer Code, Rural and Marine Fisheries Code
The designation “Produits fermiers”, or Farm Products
There is no statutory definition applicable to all farm products. Administrative doctrine and jurisprudence consider that the designation "farmer’s," or any other indication suggesting a farmyard origin, may be used in a general manner for products if: The raw material comes from the farm; The transformation process is performed in the farm’s laboratory; The preparation procedures are done traditionally, in a non-industrial fashion.
The term "farmer" can be associated with products sold under an official mark of quality (AOC/AOP, Labels), and its definition varies depending on the product.
Regarding cheese and cheese specialties, a specific definition relating to the term "farmer’s" is given in the Decree of April 27, 2007: products must be "fabricated" using traditional techniques, by a farmer using only milk from his own farm, on that very same site."
For “farmer’s” poultry, the birds must be raised in the traditional manner, either free-range or semi-free-range, primarily grain fed, slaughtered according to strict regulations either on the farm itself or off-site. The annual production of the farm must be below 10,000 fowl.
The “Bienvenue à la Ferme” Trademark, or “Welcome to the Farm”
“Bienvenue à la ferme" is a national trademark of the Chamber of Agriculture. Governed by a code of ethics and particular specifications, it is designed to ensure the quality of hospitality on the farm.
The brand applies to a total “way of life”: farm products, restaurants, holidays, leisure activities… In France, 9,000 farms participate in the program, opening their doors to offer visitors a personalized, direct link to farming activities. In the Centre Region, each year on the third Sunday of April, participating farms welcome you free of charge.
Please consult the website www.bienvenue-a-la-ferme.com
You may also download the “Bienvenue à la ferme” iPhone app. Thanks to a built-in GPS, it’s easy to find your way to various farms. You’ll also get details on what each farm produces, what services they provide and lots of other practical information designed to make your next visit or holiday an exceptional one !
Charter "Viennoiseries 100% maison"
After the traditional production of bread was protected, that of croissants is it now. The logo « Viennoiseries 100% maison » at a baker indicates that he makes his croissants himself. Consequently he is restricted by the quality charter not to buy frozen croissants, not to use hydrgenated oil and to use specific flours.
The logo « Viennoiseries 100% maison » was created in 2012 to perpetuate and value the « know-how » of crafstmen and the authenticity of products looked for by the consumers.
"Qualichef, taste the difference"
The national confederation of delicatessen launched in january 2012 a new label. This one makes the difference between the artisan who mades and who sells his products.
The label qualichef shows the consumers that he mades at least 80% of the products he sells, whose including 10 of his best sellers (white ham, black and white blood sausage, pâtés, terrines, foie gas, ...)
"The Original, beef of my butcher"
Thanks to the label "the original" the artisanal butcher engages himself to offer beef born, breed and slaughtered in France. Also it comes from breedings member of the Good Breeding Chart and close of the store. This Chart controls identification, sanitary monitoring, food, hygiene, and the breeding environement. It permits also to check that the animals live in good conditions.
The butcher engages himself also to offer meats matured for 7 days minimum.