Thursday, 14 February 2013

PGI - What is it? And what does it mean for Henney's cider?

Have you ever noticed this little symbol on the back of a bottle of Henney's cider?

It means that Henney's Cider has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. This is a very good thing, but I wonder how many people actually know what it means? So I thought I would write a post about PGI - and what it means for Henney's - and for Herefordshire cider in general.

Under EU legislation, there are certain geographical food and drink descriptions that can only be used by accredited manufacturers. Such descriptions are called Protected Geographical Indications and the term "Herefordshire cider" is one of them. Basically it means that cider can only be labelled "Herefordshire" if it is produced in Herefordshire using local cider apples and certain traditional techniques. It is an assurance of provenance and authentic cider making and you can read the exact requirements here.

It seems rather obvious doesn't it, that Herefordshire Cider should have to be made in Herefordshire? But so many terms and descriptions are meaningless these days - for example 'farmhouse cider' or 'country cider' are not protected in anyway, as such anyone can use them, even to describe the mass produced 'ciders' that are really imported concentrated apple juice supplemented with cheap forms of sugar. So it's comforting to know that anything terming itself Herefordshire Cider really is the genuine thing.

Henney's was accredited PGI status several years ago, when Mike first applied for it. He has to be able to show when and where he buys his fruit, where it is milled and pressed, and how his cider is fermented, matured and stored prior to sale. As a genuine Herefordshire craft cider, Henney's sails through the process - after all, it's never a chore for a true cider maker to talk at length about his product and how it is made!

So, for anyone wondering, that's what the little symbol on the back of every bottle of Henney's is all about.

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