The "Saucisson d'Ardenne" strikes back: epilogue of the Sausages War

21 April 2014

In the April 2013 edition of Food Law Digest, we reported on the decision of the Belgian Council of State whereby the administrative high court had dismissed an application for annulment of a Walloon Governmental Decree of 7 October 2010 (the "Decree") that granted a protected geographical indication ("PGI") to several types of dried sausages sold under the names “Saucisson d’Ardenne”, “Petit Saucisson d’Ardenne”, “Collier d’Ardenne” and “Pipe d’Ardenne”.  According to the Council of State's decision, only dried sausages produced in the Ardenne region can be named “Saucisson d’Ardenne”.

The Decree was challenged by a Flemish company, TerBeke-Pluma, which manufactures dried sausages in Flanders and commercializes its products under the name “Saucisson d’Ardenne”.  TerBeke-Pluma's arguments that the name “Saucisson d’Ardenne” had become generic and did not fulfil the requirements to qualify as a PGI were unsuccessful.

On 17 January 2014 (Arrest No- 226.117), an identical application, lodged by a second company named Guina, was also dismissed by the Council of State.

Consequently, the Walloon authorities can now send the file to the European Commission for the definitive registration of "Saucisson d'Ardenne" as a PGI (European phase).  Once the decision to register the PGI has been made by the EC, companies outside the Ardenne will no longer be allowed to produce "Saucisson d'Ardenne".

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