The product must be precisely described (shape, structure, composition, flavour, etc.). This description must bring out the specificity of the product, its unique character, and its identity.
The method used to obtain the product must be described step by step and in detail. It must take tradition into account. Technological advances and the evolution of processes are accepted as long as such methods do not compromise the typical characteristics of the product and its bond with the territory. The elements listed in the description must be able to be verifiable.
Definition of the geographical area
An AOP or IGP product is deeply rooted in the region from which its name derives. This region must be defined taking into account traditional customs. It is necessary that the region be able to guarantee the typical characteristics of the product. The production of an AOP or an IGP may spread outside of its own original area of production and the geographical area must take this evolution into account. In fact, all the areas of the defined area must prove a specific tradition of production and a bond with the product. The geographical area must be environmentally and culturally coherent. It may be a list of municipalities, districts, or cantons.
Other points that can come into play in the Specifications. The specifications must provide the name of the certification body or bodies that will attest that the product is in conformance with its specifications. The specifications must also specify how the product will be labeled. The applicant group may decide whether to make it required to include the term AOP or IGP on the label of the product using the AOP or IGP registration. In this case, it must insert this requirement in the specifications. The Swiss Association of AOP-IGP makes easily identifiable AOP and IGP logos available to its members.
As of January 1st, 2004, the specifications can also include elements regarding packaging, in the event that the applicant group is able to prove that packaging must be carried out within the defined geographical area in order to safeguard product quality and assure traceability.