D.O.P. stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta” (P.D.O., Protected Designation of Origin).
This is a legally valid mark by means of which the European Union acknowledges in certain food products special quality features that basically − or even solely − depend on the geographic area of origin.
Such geographic areas are noted for certain natural factors (climate, environmental characteristics) and human factors (production techniques handed down from one generation to the next, artisanal practices, savoir-faire) which combine to produce products inimitable elsewhere.
Recognition of a product as P.D.O. depends on the production, transformation and processing stages which must all take place in a given circumscribed area.
A supervisory body ensures that the producers of P.D.O. foods abide by a set of strict rules applying to production. These rules are set forth as production procedures.