European accredited product
Since 11 November 2003, the Westlandse Druif has been an officially protected product in the European Union. Only grapes grown in the region may carry the Westland name. The Westlandse Druif is now included in the ‘Register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications’, making it one of a only a few products in the Netherlands to bear this distinction (others includes some varieties of cheese – North Holland Gouda and North Holland Edam– and the Opperdoezer Ronde potato).
The designation marks EU recognition that the Westland greenhouse grape is a special product with great care paid to quality, origin and responsible, sustainable production methods.
Protection of the Westlandse Druif
In 1992 the European Community created a recognition and protection system that reflected its policy on quality for agricultural products and foodstuffs. The system protects certain geographic designations and traditional specialities. In 2003, the EU awarded the Stichting de Westlandse Druif a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) for Westland grapes. Theme park De Westlandse Druif in Monster has been using the title for years when selling its grapes.
The protection system was established to:
- Encourage the diversity of agricultural production;
- Protect product names against abuse and imitations;
- Help consumers by providing information about the specific character of products
There are three types of European protection: Protected Designation of Origin, Protected Geographical Indication and Guaranteed Traditional Speciality.
The Netherlands now has seven products with European accreditation: five products with a protected designation of origin; one–Westland Grapes– with a protected geographical indication; and one product with a guaranteed traditional speciality.
These products were recently described in Italian connoisseur Mauro Rosati’s food atlas, the Qualigeo (published by Qualivita). Alongside all the olive oils, wines, cheeses and meat, this ‘bible’ of nutrition studies also listed Westlandse Druif. What a great honour for the Westland product!