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Greece to register “Gyros” as Protected Product before competitors grab it

Pieces of spiced pork meat are stacked on each other on a spit. The meat mountain is slowly grilled on a vertical rotisserie, then sliced into paper-thin bites. This is Gyros, the Greek delicacy served wrapped in pita bread together with tomatoes, onions and tzatziki sauce. But Gyros has competitors: Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA. They want to claim Gyros as theirs. Now Greeks want to register Gyros at the European Union as Product of Geographical Indication, that is a product originated and produced in Greece.

After years of disagreements, petty interests and internal competitors, finally Greeks came to the conclusion that “united we are strong.” They decided that all stakeholders involved in the Gyros business work together to prepare one single file for the international registration of Gyros as a Product of Geographical Indication.

In a meeting held on Monday, the Greek Meat Industry, the Hellenic Meat Processing Industries Association, the Hellenic Federation of Pig Breeders and the National Interprofessional Meat adopted the proposal of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food to go ahead to shield Gyros against its international competitors.

The idea to register the meat delicacy as Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) product.  – the last solution after years of disagreements and misunderstandings – was finally given up. A year ago, the Hellenic Meat Processing Industries Association submitted to EU an individual registration dossier as minimal protection against the seizure of the product by unethical and unfair international practices. The submission drew the objections of other stakeholders., unfair practices objections to both EDOK and the Pig Federation.

Eventually the “golden solution” was found, i.e. to register Gyros as PGI and they all agreed.

“Today’s decision was the beginning of a demanding struggle that we all, political leadership, industry, producers and livestock breeders will unite,” deputy Agriculture minister Fotini Arabatzi.

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