Within a few months the honey from Malaga will have its own protected Denomination of Origin, under the name ‘Miel de Malaga’. The Junta de Andalucía has approved an application made in February by the Malaga Bee-Keepers Association, and the period during which any opposition from the public to the move could be expressed has now closed so the decision is official.
Fernando de Miguel, president of the association, was delighted at the news and pointed out that Malaga is famous for its honey, which was already being exported to different European countries via the Mediterranean in the 16th century.
Malaga honey is renowned for having very low moisture and acidity levels, which give it high stability and a long shelf life. The Denomination of Origin will guarantee the origin, quality and properties of the honey produced and packaged in the province.
The honey from Malaga benefits from the province’s geographical location, near the Strait of Gibraltar with its Atlantic, Mediterranean, European and African influences, and in the heart of Andalucía and south of the Iberian peninsula. This has resulted in very diverse ecosystems which give the product its special flavour.
Fernando de Miguel explained that the local honey has also been used for home-made remedies and cosmetics, as well as holding pride of place among the gastronomy of the province, particularly in cakes and sweets. “It is totally natural and needs no additives or preservatives, so many people eat it every day,” he said.
Over 300 of the nearly 500 bee-keeping professionals in the province are members of the association. Altogether, around 1,000 tonnes of honey are produced every year, unless – like this year – there is a drought, in which case the volume drops considerably.
"This year we have only produced about half the usual amount. Fifteen years ago or more each hive would produce at least 25 to 30 kilos, but this year it is around 12 so we are estimating a total of 700-800 tonnes instead of 1,500,” De Miguel said.
Within a few months all the honey from this region of Spain will be labelled with the Miel de Malaga name. All it is waiting for now is the go-ahead from the European Commission.