The official quality marks AOP and PGI are reserved for traditional products with deep-rooted regional origins. Once protected designations have been registered by the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture, they may only be used for products that meet the specified requirements regarding origin, production and quality. Independent certification centres check that these standards are adhered to.

Protected term of origin (AOP, Appellation d’Origine Protegée) represents a guarantee of a high quality product obtained, manufactured and processed in its area of origin.

Protected Geographical Indication or PGI (IGP, Indication Géographique Protégée) also marks out traditional or typical specialities from a clearly defined region. To qualify, a product must either be obtained manufactured or processed in the area of origin.
For instance, meat used in a PGI sausage may come from animals that have been reared outside the region. 

Both AOP and PGI products bear the name of the region they come from as part of their name. It is therefore important for the name only to be used for products that satisfy the following three criteria:

  • Origin: products are associated with the region that gives them their name.
  • Connection with the local soil and tradition.

To find out more about AOP-PGI

Cheeses from Switzerland with AOP seal of approval

The milk used in AOP cheese comes from a clearly defined region. The milk is then made into cheese in the same region, and the cheese is aged there until it is mature.
The following varieties of cheese have received an AOP seal of approval in Switzerland:

Berner Alp- und Hobelkäse AOPEmmentaler AOPL'Etivaz AOPLe Gruyère AOPRaclette du Valais AOPSbrinz AOPTessiner Alpkäse AOPTête de Moine AOPVacherin Fribourgeois AOPVacherin Mont-d'Or AOPBloder-Sauerkäse AOPGlarner Alpkäse AOP