APRIL 3 2013 20:54h

Prosek on EU market as of 1 July after all

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Croatia
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Wine producers who use the label "Prosek" will be able to continue to use that label after 1 July when Croatia joins the European Union (EU) which offers producers a chance to protect this product, the head of the food processing section of the Agriculture Ministry Juraj Orenda said on Wednesday.

The ministry recently released a press release in which it called on producers of Prosek to start making preparations to cease using this label as of 1 July, when Croatia joins the European Union, as it phonetically resembles the name of the Italian sparkling wine Prosecco which has DOCG status, that means it has controlled designation of origin guaranteed.

Orenda told reporters that the press release had been taken off the ministry's web site and that further consultations were being conducted with all stakeholders in the negotiation process with the European Commission.

"It was not our intention to release any bad news or to intentionally goof up but to stimulate producers to adapt to new market situations once we enter the EU", he said.

This has led to Prosek being able to be branded and put on the market in keeping with EC regulations, he added.

He added that he would meet with producers later in the week to determine what steps to take next.

Asked by journalists why the ministry claimed that the label Prosek could no longer be used, Orenda said that the label cannot be used in the context of traditionally protected expressions according to EU norms but that no-one had claimed that the label could not be used at all.

There is still room to have the product protected and that is the reason for further consultations with producers, he explained. (Hina)