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Beekeepers in the Axarquia handling their hives for honey production. SUR
Miel de Málaga: Beekeepers are buzzing after local honey gets seal of approval from Spanish government
Food and drink

Miel de Málaga: Beekeepers are buzzing after local honey gets seal of approval from Spanish government

Until now, the unique honey from the province could only be advertised as "produced in Spain"

Matías Stuber

Malaga

Tuesday, 18 June 2024

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"Miel de Malága". From now on, this label can be displayed on the packaging of honey produced in Malaga province. The Spanish government has approved the protected designation of origin (DOP) for honey with the publication of this order in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on Monday 17 June. This brings to a close a process which began several years ago by beekeepers in Malaga in response to a long-standing desire for local beekeepers to differentiate themselves from other honey-producers in Spain.

Until now, honey from the province could only be advertised as "honey produced in Spain". This served to differentiate it from other countries but, according to the beekeepers of Malaga, it did not do justice to the quality of the honey. Malaga honey, they claim, "is the best in Spain".

The reasons behind the quality of Malaga honey lie in the uniqueness of the province, which has many hours of sunshine. This gives it that special touch that makes it stand out from the rest. José Antonio Fortes, a beekeeper from Alcaucín, told SUR: "Malaga honey is the best because here we are in the region with the most hours of sunshine. It makes the flowers flourish like nowhere else and the honey is delicious."

For Fortes, honey from Malaga is also healthy and helps to improve our overall diet. "It is an ideal substitute for sugar. It is natural and can be used in countless dishes, sweets and infusions", he states.

Juan Manuel Montiel is a beekeeper from Casabermeja. He is also celebrating the boost to his trade that the DOP label means for Malaga honey. "Our product is very good. This designation now gives it more cachet and also offers consumers a guarantee of excellence."

Buzzing with success

Asaja (a nationwide agricultural association) has reviewed this milestone for Malaga honey and is confident that it will benefit marketing. "This recognition is a vital boost for this sector, as it means an increase in market value, guaranteeing consumers the authenticity and high quality of the honey, which increases its value and competitiveness in the market. It also provides added legal protection against imitations and fraud, ensuring that only honey produced here can carry this designation", their spokesperson told SUR.

That said, they also ask central government not to stop at the DOP approval of Malaga honey, but to ensure that there is no fraudulent marketing of the product now that it has added value.

"This achievement is the result of effort and dedication and we are convinced that it will be a source of opportunities. What we do hope is that the government will accompany this recognition with measures to prevent products that are not honey from being marketed as honey, as well as applying mirror clauses [in the absence of mirror clauses, food imported into the EU does not have to meet the same production standards as in EU]. We would not be happy if such an important milestone were to remain just an official recognition without further action."

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