Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (aka TSG) is a European Union (EU) food designation. This Regulation establishes the criteria and procedures by which agricultural products intended for human consumption and foodstuffs can be recognised as traditional specialities guaranteed (TSGs).
This act or designation does not restrict a food item to a geographical area, as the other designations do. The emphasis is on the product being made with “traditional” ingredients, or techniques, rather than being on the place where it is made.
An agricultural product intended for human consumption or foodstuff with a traditional composition, or produced according to a traditional production method may become a traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG). This possibility encourages the diversification of agricultural production and has positive consequences in several areas. The introduction of a TSG boosts farmers’ revenues and maintains the population in less favoured or remote areas by promoting the rural economy. It also increases the market value of the products of economic operators, by guaranteeing that they are distinguishable from other similar products or foodstuffs. In addition, thanks to the introduction of this designation, consumers will able be to make more informed choices on the basis of clear information on the specific characteristics of the products they buy.
Register of products
TSGs recognised at European level are entered into a register, which is kept by the Commission. They are divided into two lists according to whether or not the use of the name is reserved to those producers who comply with the product specification. A product may only be registered if:
- it is produced using traditional raw materials;
- it is characterised by a traditional composition or by a method of production/processing that corresponds to a traditional production/processing method.
In order to be registered, the name must:
- be specific in itself;
- indicate the specific character of the agricultural product or foodstuff.
In order to be recognised as a TSG, an agricultural product or foodstuff must comply with the product specification, and must include the following elements:
- the name, given in one or more languages, and an indication whether the application for registration is being made with or without reservation of the name;
- the description of the product, with an indication of its main physical, chemical, microbiological and organoleptic properties;
- the description of the production method to be applied by the producers, including where relevant the nature and characteristics of the raw materials or ingredients used and the manufacturing method;
- the key elements that define the product’s specific character;
- the key elements that demonstrate the product’s traditional character;
- the minimum requirements and procedures for checking its specific character.
The Member States must take the necessary measures to ensure legal protection against any misuse or misleading use of the term “traditional speciality guaranteed”, the abbreviation TSG and the associated Community symbol and against any imitation of names registered and reserved. Registered names must be protected against any practice liable to mislead the consumer, including practices suggesting that a product is a traditional speciality guaranteed recognised by the Community.
- Perhaps you know about the quarrel Slovenia and Austria have about one of my favourite foods; the Kransjka klobasa from Slovenia (‘Carniolan sausage’) or the Krainer wurst as the Austrians call it (See THIS article in the UK Telegraph)
- Or perhaps you are from a region which has local specialties which fall under the Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (aka TSG) European Union (EU) food designation?
- What is your favourite Traditional Speciality Guaranteed food (Check Wikipedia HERE for a list)?
More info and the full legislation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/agriculture/food/l66043_en.htm