Traditionally-caught Fal Oysters awarded EU protected PDO label - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Traditionally-caught Fal Oysters awarded EU protected PDO label

Sunday, 17 November 2013
An Oyster caught using traditional sailing and rowing vessels in Truro, Cornwall has gained EU protected status.

The 'Fal Oyster', fished using dredges designed back in 1750, has been awarded the Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) label as requested in the application.

The PDO label covers agricultural products and foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how. Following historic and traditional methods the dredges are towed by sailing or rowing boats with no motor power used to harvest the oysters.

South West Conservative MEP Julie Girling, who sits on the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, said: "This is good news for Cornwall and for the Oyster industry in our region. For a product to gain the PDO label is really testament to its heritage and the work that goes into bringing it to consumers. The importance of the label cannot be underestimated; a PDO supports the 'Fal Oyster' as a premium product and I can't wait to try one next time I'm in Cornwall!"

Since 1996 the Fal Oyster Festival has been held to celebrate the start of the oyster dredging season, the diversity and quality of Cornish Seafood and in particular, one of the last remaining traditional oyster fisheries, dredging by sail and hand punt.

The EU quality scheme identifies products and foodstuffs farmed and produced to exacting specifications. The scheme encourages diverse agricultural production, protects product names from misuse and imitation and provides consumers with information concerning the specific character of the products.

There are three categories:

  • Protected Designation of Origin - PDO: covers agricultural products and foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how.
  • Protected Geographical Indication - PGI: covers agricultural products and foodstuffs closely linked to the geographical area. At least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation takes place in the area.
  • Traditional Speciality Guaranteed - TSG: highlights traditional character, either in the composition or means of production

Close to 1,200 EU products are now registered under the scheme.

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