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Somerset Cider Brandy Wins EU Recognition


15 September 2011


Somerset Cider Brandy, a celebrated product once threatened with being outlawed, has secured the highest level of EU protection after a long campaign by the trade backed by the UK Government.

The decision to grant Somerset Cider Brandy Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Status puts the product among an elite list of European food and drink products whose identity is officially safeguarded.

Among those UK products already on the list are Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, Dorset Blue Cheese and Arbroath Smokies.

The decision by EU authorities is a victory for producers, the WSTA and the Government’s Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), who had worked together to secure protection for Somerset Cider Brandy under the EU’s wine and spirit regulations.

Agriculture Minister James Paice MP said: “This decision will protect the long term future of an industry that already contributes more than £4 million to Somerset’s economy, and will preserve the local landscape and way of life.”

The official recognition marks a personal victory for Julian Temperley, whose Somerset Cider Brandy Company is the largest of three producers in the County. He said: “This is great news for the West Country economy and a tribute to the quality of the product. It will help secure the future of traditional orchards which are such an integral and essential feature of the West Country landscape and heritage.”

Somerset Cider Brandy had been under threat, having been omitted from an approved product list by officials in Brussels and there was pressure from some in Europe to restrict the term brandy to products derived from grapes.

The WSTA has worked with Mr Temperley and Government officials to overturn the objections.

John Corbet-Milward WSTA Wine Policy Director said: “We have all worked hard to turn this round and this is a great result. It secures the future of Somerset Cider Brandy and what is a flourishing business in the West Country.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

 WSTA Media manager

Somerset Cider Brandy

The terms of the PGI accreditation means the raw material for the cider brandy must come from at least 20 specified varieties of vintage cider apples, grown without the aid of artificial nitrogen fertiliser and yielding no more than 10 tons to the acre – far fewer than modern commercial orchards. Somerset Cider Brandy can now be found in some of the best restaurants and delicatessens in the UK.

WSTA

The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 340 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits. We campaign to promote the industry’s interests with governments at home and abroad. We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

For more information please contact Gavin Partington: Tel: +44 (0) 20 7089 3876 Mob: +44 (0) 7966 014058 Email: [email protected]

 

 

 

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