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Germany: Asparagus growers want to stop label fraudThe association of asparagus growers from German Beelitz want to implement a European quality label. This because not every asparagus sold as a Beelitz asparagus really comes from this cultivation area. A new procedure could assist in establishing the origin of the vegetable.
Each year it is the same: whilst asparagus growers from Beelitz have only just started harvesting asparagus, street hawkers already sell Beelitz asparagus in abundance. At least that is what is promised in the adverts. In reality the asparagus, at least partly, are from wholesale and therefore from Greece, Spain or Poland. The 16 asparagus growers from the Beelitz growing area had their hallmark protected by the Patent Bureau in Munich in the middle nineties, but this was probably insufficient to stop label fraud. Therefore they start fighting again now. "The name 'Beelitzer Spargel' (asparagus from Beelitz) should receive a Protected Geographic Indication (BGA) according to EU-law. In that way asparagus would receive the same protected status as for instance Parmaham or Spreewald Gherkins" as per association chairman Manfred Schmidt. "The procedure of recognition will be a long bureaucratic one, but we want to start this year." With a quality label of the European Union we will have a stronger base at our disposal, as per the chairman of the association. The asparagus growers hope that the fraudsters will be put off by this.
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