Damien Plan joined the European Commission in 2009 and, more specifically, the Directorate General for Agriculture in Brussels in 2014.
In the Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture, he was Team Leader for Commodity and Grains Markets until 2018, when he moved to his current position as International Relations Officer for ASEAN.
His current responsibilities include agricultural trade relations with Singapore, the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Singapore and registration of EU Geographical Indications in Singapore.
Prior to joining the European Commission, Damien worked in the private sector for 15 years, where he held different management positions in the agri-food industry. In particular, he was based in Singapore from 2005 to 2008 as Rice Business Development Manager for a multinational seed company.
Damien Plan is French and holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences from Montpellier University in France (Montpellier Sup Agro).
Stephane Passeri, a French national, is a renowned international expert on Geographical Indication (GI) development for food, agriculture and handicraft products, currently appointed as GI Team Leader at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
Stationed in Thailand since 1998, first as French Commercial Attache and Intellectual Property Regional Coordinator in Asia-Pacific for the French Ministry of Finance, Economy and Industry, then as Administrator of the European Commission-ASEAN IP Rights Co-operation Programme (ECAP II) and later as Director of the EU-ASEAN Project on the Protection of IP Rights (ECAP III Phase 1), addressing cooperation on legal framework, administration of IPRs, enforcement and public awareness in the region, Mr Passeri encountered both the growing demand from local, public and private sectors and the potential to develop Geographical Indications and the promotion of origin-linked products in the regions.
During the past 20 years, Mr Passeri contributed to the development of GI national systems, awareness raising, and the protection and promotion of various products across Asia, particularly in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Mongolia, China and Japan, aiming at increasing the income of farmers as well as trade and tourism opportunities by developing GI value chains, improving market access and increasing the recognition of GI by consumers.
Mr. Passeri holds a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis in France and a postgraduate degree in Finance and Management.
Gianluigi Rosso Borghero has extensive knowledge in all fields of Intellectual Property, gained through years of work experience.
He has held various roles including Italian Trademark Attorney (Trademark, Design and Geographical Indication), Professional Representative before the EUIPO (Trademark, Design and Geographical Indication), Law Committee Member of ORIGIN-ITALIA and, among others, Vice President of Hinc-Think.
He has also served as a teacher for numerous prestigious master degree programmes, such as 24ore Business School and, at Sapienza University of Rome, the Diritto Privato Europeo Master’s Degree under the guidance of Professor Guido Alpa.
Gianluigi Rosso Borghero has also attended several conferences as rapporteur and has authored several articles. In particular, as a legal contributor, he co-authored “Woman, Business and the Law 2018” edited by World Bank Group.
Christos Apostolopoulos, born in Athens, studied Food Science & Technology at the Agricultural University of Athens. He obtained his PhD in the same field from University of Reading, UK. He worked for 3 years as a Higher Scientific Officer at the Institute of Food Research in the UK and then for 3 years as full academic staff at the Center of Biomimetics at the University of Reading. He then worked as Director General of the Greek Dairy Organization (for 7 years) and later as Director General of Hellenic Food Safety Authority (also for 3 years). For 14 years, he has worked in FrieslandCampina Hellas S.A. as Director of Total Quality, Food Safety & Dairy Affairs and is a Member of the Board of the company. He also served as a Member of the Board of the Agriculture University of Athens for 4 years.
Since 2014, he has served as President of the Association of Greek Dairy Industries and Member of the Board of the European Dairy Association.
He has published more than 50 papers in scientific journals and participated in many conferences in Greece and abroad.
Born in Rome in 1959, and an agronomist and winemaker since 1978, he runs the wine producing company, Az.Agr. Gualberto Ricci Curbastro e Figli – Gualberto Ricci Curbastro and Sons Farm Estate, in Capriolo (Brescia) in Franciacorta as well as the Rontana Farm Estate in Ravenna.
He is a chairman of many important agricultural associations (ANGA, Consortium of Franciacorta, AGRITURIST) and member of some influential wine academies (Academy of Grapes and wine, Academy of Georgofili, National Academy of Agriculture, Committee for the enhancement of Italian food heritage, Enforcing Committee with the task of coordinating and supervising the controlling activities for the production of the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Moscatello di Montalcino and Sant’Antimo wines). He was Chairman of the Valoritalia (Society for the certification of the quality and the production of Italian Wines) from 2009 to 2011, a controlling and certifying authority for Italian origin wines, of which he is now a member of the board.
He has been President of the FEDERDOC (National Confederation of Associations for the Protection of DOC Wines) since 1998 and of Equalitas since 2015. .
Representative of the Spanish Association of Geographical Indications for Wines (CECRV).
Since 2012, Jesús Mora Cayetano has been the General Coordinator of the Spanish Association of Geographical Indications for Wines (Conferencia Española de Consejos Reguladores Vitivinícolas – CECRV), the Madrid-based organisation that represents Spanish Protected Designations of Origin for wines towards the national government and also at an international level. CECRV works to manage, protect and promote the common interests of Spanish PDO for wines and to reinforce, and continue boosting, the diversity and prestige of Spanish Designations of Origin.
Mr. Mora Cayetano has a degree in Journalism from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and is a graduate in Foreign Trade from the Center for Economic and Trace Studies (CECO), ICEX Business School (Spanish governmental body for Foreign Trade and Investment). His professional career has always been linked to institutional communication, foreign trade and wine. Before managing CECRV, he worked for PromoMadrid, Madrid’s public agency to promote Madrid economy abroad, and for INECO, a public engineering and consulting company belonging to the Spanish Ministry of Public Works’ international relations department.
After working at Chambers Westgarth in Australia, Amandine Duthilleul joined the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) in 2016, where she is currently responsible for the ‘Protection of the Cognac geographical indication’.
She was previously engaged in the protection of trademarks and domain names for the Michelin Group and worked as a lawyer in various industrial property consulting firms.
She holds a master’s degree in Intellectual Property Rights and New Technologies as well as a specialised diploma to act as an in-house legal counsel.
Georgia Ntokou was born in 1980 in Tyrnavos, the place where ouzo was born. In 2001, she became a civil engineer and, until 2016, she worked as a project manager and supervising engineer in various construction projects.
But she was always attracted to the distillation process. It has always been something very familiar to her, since her father used to distillate his own tsipouro. In 2016, she decided to settle down in Tyrnavos and start working with her sister and her brother-in-law, who owns the Katsaros Distillery - the oldest distillery of ouzo in the world.
She has applied all of her knowledge and experience to the needs of the company and currently deals with various company issues such as controlling production, sales and exports.
John Clarke is the Director for International Relations at DG Agriculture in the European Commission.
He was previously Head of the EU Delegation to the WTO and the UN in Geneva. He joined the European Commission in 1993 as a trade negotiator.
From 1983 to 1993, John Clarke was an official of the Hong Kong Government, working in the team responsible for raising HK's standard of living and bringing it to developed country status by the late 1980's.
Sergio Pavon works in Brussels at the European Commission (Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development) as an expert in international negotiation issues. Part of his professional career was developed in the Directorate-General (DG) for Foreign Trade (exports of agri-food products) and in the DG for Health and Consumer Protection (audits, animal identification and traceability). He has been the spokesman of the European Commission to several International Organizations (World Trade Organization, FAO, ISO, UNCTAD, STDF, etc.) Before working for the European Commission, he developed part of his professional career in countries such as Spain, the United Kingdom and France. His current functions in DG Agriculture and Rural Development include the management of international trade policies such as technical barriers to trade, trade defense instruments, promotion, Geographical Indications, rules of origin and sanitary measures.