Officially official: Somerset Cider Brandy's PGI protected status published in EU's Official Journal - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Officially official: Somerset Cider Brandy's PGI protected status published in EU's Official Journal

Monday, 27 February 2012
The decision granting Somerset Cider Brandy EU protection under the protected geographical indication (PGI) scheme was announced back in September 2011, but only this week – due to parliamentary procedures – did the legal protection come into force with the publication of the amending regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Commission Regulation No 164/2012 of 24 February 2012amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks” states that Somerset Cider Brandy now has legally protected PGI status and this change “shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States”.

Somerset Cider Brandy is well established in the United Kingdom and has been known to consumers as ‘cider brandy’ for a significant period of time,” the regulation reads. “It enjoys a high reputation and forms an essential part of the heritage of the county of Somerset.

But there is a condition to its protection: because Somerset Cider Brandy “is not well known in the rest of the Union” it must be accompanied with the designation “cider spirit” on the label “to make the consumer aware of the true nature of the product in all Member States, thus avoiding any risk of confusion”.

The decision in September concluded a four-year long campaign headed by South West MEP Sir Graham Watson to correct an “
gross oversight” and protect a local tipple. To celebrate its recent award of EU PGI protected status, renowned artist Damien Hirst even designed a special label for the drink.

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