After hearing about the complaint filed to the Directorate General of Consumer Affairs of the Government of Valencia by La Unió de Llauradors against Aldi and Carrefour for advertising and labelling two different protected mandarins under the same name ("Tang Gold/Nadorcott" and "Nadorcot/Tango", respectively), Eurosemillas has contacted both chains.
The French multinational is correcting the error at its stores and already offers both mandarin varieties in a differentiated way. The company expects that, in the near future, the second chain will do the same, thereby helping prevent consumers from mistakenly believing that Tang Gold is the same variety as the Nadorcott.Tang Gold is a mandarin that doesn't have or generate any seeds due to cross-pollination with neighbouring plantations.
The Spanish Administration, as well as the EU, have officially recognised that Tang Gold is a different variety, both because of the absence of seeds in the fruit (even after being exposed to pollination from others) and for not causing them to appear in neighbouring plantations. This is well-known among Tango licensees (registered in the EU as Tang Gold), who do not have the need to isolate their fruit trees, cover them or treat them with phytosanitary products to scare or kill the bees and avoid the effects of cross-pollination. Later, they also find that their prices are significantly higher than those of other mandarins which cannot guarantee the absence of seeds. This makes it easier to understand the legitimacy and motivation of the complaint presented by the aforementioned Valencian association of producers.
By resorting to varietal certification technology through molecular markers, this Spanish company is identifying instances of fraudulent cultivation and supply across the entire food chain. The markers used by Eurosemillas are certified by the Higher Centre for Scientific Research (CSIC). They are unambiguous, because they make it possible to identify the Tang Gold and distinguish it from any other variety. These tests, moreover, have full validity before the courts, because the samples are taken by an international certifier that guarantees the chain of custody and because the results are provided by an independent and accredited laboratory.
Picture of an analysis based on molecular markers
Eurosemillas warns that the publicity and sale of mandarins of other varieties under the name Tang Gold, as well as the promotion and sale of Tang Gold mandarins under other varietal denominations, are fraudulent practices that "confuse the consumer, entail a flagrant violation of the breeder's rights (in this case, those of the University of California and those of the Eurosemillas itself) and cause a clear damage to the variety's licensed producers."
At the same time, Eurosemillas informs us that, for the current season, the number of operators (exporters) of Tang Gold/Tango under its Control, Certification and Varietal Identification System has doubled. All of them are able to guarantee a supply without any instances of fraud.