French stones start to receive geographical identification protection
French dimensional stone is starting to receive the EU geographical identification (GI) protection already extended to food and drink products such as Melton Mowbray pork pies and Champagne.
The granites of Bretagne have been joined by the limestone of Bourgogne under the protection of the signe officiel de qualité et d’origine. It protects the regional name from being used for materials other than the genuine stone from the region.
It was in 2015 that the EU decided to extend its geographical protection, previosuly restricted to food and drink, to other categories. The stone industry across Europe was enthusiastic, including many stone producers in the UK (read more here…). The regional names of stones, such as Carrara in Italy and Portland and the Cotswolds in England, have been given to man-made products.
The French magazine Pierre Actual comments: “It is a great satisfaction for the industry to see the geographical indentification ‘Pierre de Bourgogne’ become at last restricted to this territory.”
It says the economic benefits will be significant, particularly as this is a rural area.
Some British stone producers had hoped for the same geographical identification protection, but the opportunity to have it will presumably be lost to them once the UK is out of the European Union.