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Fenland Celery gets EU protection
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Fenland Celery was added today to the list of products with Protected Geographical Indication status in the European Union and is now afforded the same protection as Melton Mowbray pork pies and Scotch beef from imitations.  It is also the 50th food registration from the United Kingdom under the European Union's agricultural product and foodstuff quality schemes.

    Fenland Celery gets EU protection

    Grown in deep peat soils of the Fenland area in parts of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, "Fenland celery" is known for its distinctive nutty and bitter/sweet flavour, its tender, crisp and crunchy texture and its light green to white colour.

    "The strength of European agricultural production lies in its diversity, in the know-how of farmers, and in the soil and territories of production", said Dacian CioloĊŸ, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. Adding: "Given the pressure they are under from the economic downturn, concentration of retailer bargaining power, and global competition, farmers need the tools to better communicate about the quality of their products to consumers".

    Citizens and consumers in the Union increasingly demand quality, as well as products linked to regions and their traditions. They demand food with a history, with identifiable specific characteristics linked to their geographical origin or traditional methods of production.

    Producers need to be rewarded fairly if they are to continue producing a diverse range of quality products.

    EU registration of Fenland Celery allows producers to publicise to buyers and consumers the characteristics of their product under conditions of fair competition.

    Nearly 1,200 EU quality agricultural products and foodstuffs are protected under the scheme from imitations and which in turn provides customers with the reassurance that what they are buying is really what it says on the label

    The EU quality schemes were created in 1992 and in 2010 accounted for more than 15.8 billion euro (GPB 13.3bn) in total sales value.


    The Fenland Celery is smaller in size than conventionally produced celery as a result of the traditional labour intensive production method and varieties used. These elements combined with the black deep peat soil it is grown in contribute to its distinctive nutty and bitter/sweet flavour and its tender, crisp and crunchy texture, as well as its light green to white colouring which are key characteristics of Fenland Celery.

    Fenland Celery grows in the deep peat soils of the Fenland area of Eastern England, which is naturally very fertile, deriving from decayed vegetation that grew in the Fen and bog. It takes the name from the various 17th-century drainage adventurers who set about draining the Fenlands. The unique properties of the soil coupled with the cooler, drier climate of the Fenlands provide the perfect conditions to make it possible to plant grow and harvest celery through from July until December.

    The EU quality registers for agricultural products and foodstuffs comprise:

    • Over 570 Protected Designations of Origin (PDO): names of products that owe their characteristics exclusively or essentially to their place of production and the savoir faire of local producers. The agricultural product or foodstuff must have been produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how. Examples: Blue Stilton cheese; Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, Jersey Royal potatoes.
    • Over 560 Protected Geographical indications (PGI): agricultural products and foodstuffs whose reputation or characteristics are closely linked to production in the geographical area. At least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation takes place in the area. Examples: Fenland Celery; Scotch beef; Whitstable oysters;
    • 40 Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG): product names that guarantee the traditional character, either in the composition or means of production. TSGs are not linked to any particular location, but must be produced in line with the specification laid down. Examples: Traditional Farmfresh Turkey and Traditionally Farmed Gloucestershire Old Spots Pork

    The Commission also manages two registers for geographical indications of wines and spirit drinks, which includes Scotch Whisky.

    More information
    A full list of protected British agro-food names is available in the DOOR database.

    Report on the value of geographic indications, with thematic dossiers by product and by Member State.

    For more information on Fenland Celery visit

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 23/10/2013  |Top