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Protected Designation of Origin is a marking tool for juridical protection of denomination attributed by the European Community to food products whose peculiar qualitative characteristics essentially or exclusively depend on the territory they come from. The PDO mark was established in 1992 by European Community Regulation EEC 2081/92, and is only valid for food products (excluding wine and alcoholic beverages). Rules to obtain the PDO are highly stringent, and this marking therefore offers the highest guarantees to consumers. In particular, the PDO mark ensures the place of origin of the product, identifying a specific geographic area which gives the product particular qualities and features, thanks to its intrinsic natural or human factors. All production phases, including packaging, must take place within the geographic area in question, in order to ensure traceability and links to the territory, unrenounceable values for the PDO mark.
In 2006, the PDO, PGI, TSG Scientific Committee of the European Commission “recognised the exceptional specificity of the production area” of Biella and Vercelli Baraggia Rice. On August 21st 2007, the European Commission included Biella and Vercelli Baraggia Rice in the Protected Denominations of Origin register.