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The specification of the genetic type within the official rules for animal products under Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) : consequences for the breeds.

INRA Prod. Anim., 19(5), 357-370.


1 INRA, UR45 Recherches sur le Développement de l’Elevage, Quartier Grossetti, F-20250 Corte, France
2 INRA, INA Paris -Grignon, UMR1236 Génétique et Diversité Animales, 16 rue Claude Bernard, F-75231 Paris, France


In France, the integration of the genetic type of animals within the official rules for products under PDO has increased since the nineteen-nineties. Nowadays it concerns all ewe cheese PDO, the main part of meat PDO and, based on tons yearly produced, about half of cow PDO cheese production and a third of goat PDO cheese production. Regional logics seem to be clear since they express the different concepts of PDO into several marketing chains. In cheese production, we estimate the proportion of dairy cows and dairy ewes contribu-ting to the PDO production to be about 6.5 % and 1/3, respectively. From this point of view, a detailed analysis revealed a great diversity of situations among breeds in given species. Advantages of the couple breed/PDO were analysed. In many cases, the breed contributes to the product’s typicity and does enforce the notion of origin but, in some other cases, the breed may only be a marketing argument. The need for consistency of official rules and husbandry with the animal characteristics is pointed out. Except in a few cases where a given breed is devoted to a given PDO, the relations between the breeders’ group in charge of the breed management and the group in charge of the product promotion and development are complex. The consequences of such relations on the definition of breeding goals are discussed.

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