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The Warsaw Voice » Business » August 13, 2008
Traditional specialty guaranteed
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Polish Mead Protected by EU
August 13, 2008   
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The European Commission has granted "traditional specialty guaranteed" status to four types of meads produced in Poland. The commission's decision, announced July 29, comes into force Aug. 18.

The "traditional specialty guaranteed" certificate is granted to products that have a distinct name and are distinguishable from other foodstuffs in the same category. The same status has already been granted to the Italian-produced mozzarella cheese and Belgian-brewed Lambic beer.

Anywhere from 700,000 to 1 million liters of mead is produced in Poland annually, an amount much smaller than the annual output of beer, which is the most popular alcoholic beverage in this country. Poland's annual beer production is close to 40 million hectoliters.

But mead is gaining popularity. Last year, its consumption nationwide rose by around 20 percent. Mead producers hope that the EU certification will boost demand for their product, both at home and abroad.

"The certificate may help us promote Polish meads abroad because it ensures their original character and high quality," said Maciej Jaros, owner of the Pasieka company, which has produced meads for 18 years.

The Apis company, based in the eastern city of Lublin, is Poland's largest mead producer. It has an 85-percent share in the market. Another major mead producer in Poland is TiM, a member of the Ambra group listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
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