The Spanish system for protecting regional produce was first introduced to protect Rioja in 1925, then extended to Sherry in 1933. A full system for the classification of regional wines came shortly after and parallels the French system. In 1970, the scheme was expanded to include other agricultural products of outstanding social and economic significance and ultimately offered protection for hams and fresh meats, beans, lentils, rice, honey and peppers.
The denominaciones de origen (DO) scheme followed in the eighties, a system which was harmonised with EU regulations in anticipation of membership in the nineties. The Spanish and EU schemes run concurrently with each other and the choice of whether to use one particular classification on labels is left to the producer.
As with all other countries in the EU, there are three types of European protection available for foods or agricultural products. Under EU law, wines have their own scheme and are classified separately to other drinks and foodstuffs, although wines still carry the same PDO/PGI labels.
Number of protected foods: 183