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This is the only one PDO-ORGANIC honey of Italy present in the main italian distribution chains. This honey was the first (with the acacia one) that received from European Union, in 2004, the most important recognition for a natural product like honey, that is Protected Designation of Origin.
Many factors contribute to developing the quality of our product. The most important are:
· the environment, that it is not adversely affected by intensive cultivation or farming methods. Pollen collection areas are selected according to strict organic criteria.
· the methods of preparation and preservation used, that they do not alter the various components and organoleptic properties of the honey. This in accordance with the rules of production of PDO.
Lunigiana, a land of ancient civilisations, was frequently travelled through by pilgrims from Northern Europe who went to Rome and the Holy Land along the 'via Francigena' (the Frenchman’s Route). The tradition of hospitality is shown by the open and helpful character of the people who live in the many historical villages scattered on the green and uncontaminated hills of this area. One of the most esteemed Italian honeys is produced here. It has been awarded with many prizes and awards. Nowadays, as in the past, bees benefit from an healthy and natural environment, and produce honey with a very high organoleptic value.
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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.