The “communal denomination” was an intuition created by the well-known food and wine journalist Luigi Veronelli (1926-2004), who in the late ’90s began a new development path promoting those niche products exclusive of a specific municipality that could not obtain the denomination (PDO, PGI, TSG). He argued in countless meetings, conferences and through his writings a “return to the people and inhabitants the fruit of their labour of many years, I would like that politicians issue a “certificate of origin” for each product that is born and packaged in their own land.”
The De.c.o. (Protected Designation of Municipal Origin), today it is a path of development and integrated marketing planning, that each municipality can take to enhance those products, food or crafts that are local and characteristic if that municipality and that are made within its boundaries.
The De.c.o. is concentrated in a brand assigned to a specific product subject to the approval by the City Council through a special resolution that establishes and regulates the labelling itself, the management of the use of the brand and its characteristics through a specific Register or Register of municipal producers which have the right characteristics to develop and market their product branded De.co. De.co branded products do not “exist” on the market and are merely the result of “good intentions” and nothing else.
Is important to consider the brand De.c.o. specifically as a “private label for collective use” owned by the municipalities and used by individuals who sharing and joining a product specification use and manage the brand. To use this label and enrol in the list of producers they have to demonstrate their characteristics. It is also important that within the production regulations that the characteristic of “traditional product”, “product of quality” or “certified product” is not added as these qualities are regulated by national regulations which the “De.Co.” cannot identify itself as (See F.A.Q section).
For some the Deco is just a “philosophy”, for others it is reduced to a mere municipal resolution that doesn’t have the following (there are hundreds in the virtual Italian Deco), for others, like us, instead De.co is a real marketing tool that contributes to local development and economic growth for the communities. They see it as real and concrete resources the presence of products with a strong link to the territory, thanks to products that De.co shows from emerging producers and exploiting all their own “identity”.
For some it is good to talk about the DE.CO. (Communal Denomination), for others it simply Deco, still for others, like us, is good to talk about the DE.CO (Protected Designation of Communal Origin) on the basis of the draft law of popular initiative that ANCI promoted in 2000 by identifying and giving for free the famous label spread all over Italy, something to recognise and valuate in full.
We believe that the word “origin” a key element of the “identity of the territory” cannot and should not be cancelled or denied because of those who, in the past, wrongly from a regulatory standpoint spread “communal resolutions” of generic characteristics and not very orthodox and promoted the Deco as a “quality mark”, “traditional brand” and “certification label”, arousing controversy between different levels of institutions and incurring potential sanctions by the competent Ministries.
The Communal Designation of Origin as such it is now a successful integrated promotion and marketing, where Rules and Regulations are drafted by technical experts in the field in full compliance with current legislation and where producers and municipalities cooperate and profitably invest resources and energy for common goals.