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THE CONSORTIUM FOR THE SAFEGUARDING OF THE P.D.O. OF LUNIGIANA HONEY Tuscany, Italy
The consortium for the safeguarding of the Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) of Lunigiana honey, was originally constituted in voluntary form by the honey producers of the 14 villages of the mountain community of Lunigiana (art. 1 of the Statutes of the ‘Consortium for the safeguarding of the P.D.O. of Lunigiana honey’)
In September 2004, the European Community granted official P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin) recognition to the Chestnut and Acacia honeys produced and packed in Lunigiana, an area in Northern Tuscany. This was the first P.D.O. honey in Italy. The P.D.O. recognition certifies the geographical origin of a product, whose characteristics and quality are mainly or exclusively a result of the geographical environment, including both natural and human factors, and which is produced, processed and prepared in a specific geographical area. The area of Lunigiana is particularly suitable for apiculture, since the low level of anthropic transformation and extremely limited industrial development have preserved its natural elements. The remarkable number of acacia and chestnut trees allow the production of the corresponding types of honey at a particularly high level of purity. Their characteristics are furthermore enhanced by the use of traditional methods of extraction, processing and bottling, as required by the strict regulations of P.D.O. products.
The consortium for the safeguarding of the P.D.O. of Lunigiana honey has entrusted the Il Pungiglione non-profit social cooperative with the processing and packaging of all the P.D.O. honey of Lunigiana. The Il Pungiglione cooperative aims at the social rehabilitation and work insertion of marginalised people and helps increase their chances of finding a job and a place in society.
In conclusion, it can be said that Lunigiana honey deserves to be recognised at an institutional level for the following reasons and characteristics:
1. Uniformity of the geographical area, which allows the constant production of a uniform product.
2. An intact natural environment, unspoiled by industrialisation or pollution, thus guaranteeing a healthy final product.
3. Clear indicators of typicality, highlighted by the Institute of Agricultural Entomology of Perugia, which regard Lunigiana honey as being unique at a national level.
4. The spread in high quality apicultural knowledge and culture at an international level.