EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 52011XC0629(09)

Publication of an application pursuant to Article 6(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs

OJ C 189, 29.6.2011, p. 37–41 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 189/37

Publication of an application pursuant to Article 6(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs

2011/C 189/14

This publication confers the right to object to the amendment application pursuant to Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 (1). Statements of objection must reach the Commission within six months of the date of this publication.




EC No: FR-PGI-0005-0844-18.01.2011

PGI ( X ) PDO ( )

1.   Name:

‘Melon de Guadeloupe’

2.   Member State or third country:


3.   Description of the agricultural product or foodstuff:

3.1.   Type of product:

Class 1.6.

Fruit and cereals, fresh or processed

3.2.   Description of product to which the name in (1) applies:

This melon is a seasonal product, harvested in the period from November to June and cultivated in an open undivided field (without covering or shelter).

The ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’ is a yellow Charentais melon, whole, fresh and firm in appearance, of at least 450 g in weight.

It has a greenish, yellowish or yellow rind. When fully ripe, it has an oily ring or slight cracks at its point of attachment to the stalk.

The melon may have slight defects of form, colour or rind, provided that they do not affect the general appearance of the product, its quality, keeping quality and presentation.

The ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’ is very sweet. It must have a refractive index of at least 12 °Brix.

It is characterised by a sweet taste with a multiplicity of aromas, lots of flavour and a tender flesh. The flesh is orange in colour and keeps especially well.

The producers' organisation carries out annual selection tests on the yellow Charentais varieties listed in the Official Catalogue of species and varieties and selects those melons adapted to local conditions and able to produce the characteristics expected of a ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’. Only the varieties which pass the introductory test and confirmation test may be used.

3.3.   Raw materials (for processed products only):

3.4.   Feed (for products of animal origin only):

3.5.   Specific steps in production that must take place in the defined geographical area:

The cultivation and harvesting operations take place in the geographical area.

3.6.   Specific rules concerning slicing, grating, packaging, etc.:

The transit period between the harvest of the melon and its arrival at the depot is at most four hours. At the depots, the batches of melons are graded and then washed, followed by manual sorting of the fruits one by one in accordance with the specification.

The melons are placed in individual packages and/or on trays (in a single layer).

3.7.   Specific rules on labelling:

Each package must indicate the following:

the name of the PGI ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’,

the PGI logo.

A sticker with the words ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’ must be affixed to each fruit.

4.   Concise definition of the geographical area:

The geographical area consists of 10 of Guadeloupe's municipalities, which are distributed between the two ‘islands’ of the archipelago:

municipalities on La Grande-Terre: Saint François, Sainte Anne, Le Moule, Morne à L’eau, Petit Canal, Anse Bertrand, Port Louis,

municipalities on the island of Marie-Galante: Grand Bourg, Capesterre, Saint Louis.

This area, corresponding to that in which the ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’ is produced, is characterised by particular soil and climatic conditions favouring the production of high-quality melons.

5.   Link with geographical area:

5.1.   Specificity of the geographical area:

Natural factors

Guadeloupe is located in the tropics, and experiences a dry season (or ‘carême’) which lasts in general from December to April. Nevertheless the days are predominantly sunny from November to June.

The geographical area is located on the Atlantic side of Grande-Terre and on Marie-Galante, well-aerated regions where less rain falls than in the interior. By virtue of their aspect, these areas are healthier and experience fewer parasitic infestations than other regions in Guadeloupe.

Grande-Terre and Marie-Galante consist of a coralline limestone platform which at some time in the past was raised up and covered by volcanic discharges, resulting in a characteristic soil.

The area in which melons are cultivated is characterised by swelling clay soils arranged in toposequences made up of more or less thick and stony vertisols and calcimagnesic soils. The swelling clay gives these soils a very high cation exchange capacity, generally saturated, mainly by calcium. The ratio of calcium to magnesium is optimal for the melons. Potassium is retained well in the soil, and the phosphorus is generally not retrograde. The soils have a neutral or slightly basic pH and, as a result of the presence of minerals, are highly fertile. The abundance of exchangeable calcium means that, despite the fact that they are rich in swelling clays, these soils are structurally very stable.

Given that the clay remains flocculated, the soils are, on the one hand, not easily erodible in spite of the intensity of the tropical rains, and, on the other hand, contain a significant stock of water in very stable tubular micropores of biological origin. These soil properties, favourable to the melons, are durable, provided that the soil is not worked excessively.

Human factors

Although the melon has been cultivated in Guadeloupe since the 17th century, when it was imported by the colonialists, documentary evidence of the melon's presence on the local market dates only from the Second World War.

Production of the melon in Guadeloupe started to become more organised at the end of the 1970s and the start of the 1980s, under the auspices of Mr Etienne CRANE. Two-way export agreements were concluded with economic groupings in metropolitan France, with the melon among the products selected.

Since 1984, Messrs CRANE, BOYER and FABRE have cooperated to produce and export the melon with the ‘Label Guadeloupe’ out of season. The melon is transported by air to metropolitan France on the same day that it is harvested, and sold the following day. The development strategy for the melon essentially involves producing it out of the European season, i.e. from January to May.

The production techniques, oriented towards attaining a high-quality product (choice of varieties, optimum time of harvesting, reasonable fertilisation levels, wise use of irrigation, highly discriminating selection of fruits at packaging time), have become widespread and are being used by more and more operators.

The ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’ has made inroads into the French and European markets since the end of the 1980s. Following a surge from 1989, production has stabilised at around 7 500 to 8 000 tonnes overall.

Today five marketing organisations operate in the melon sector. Today the melon is Guadeloupe's third most important export product after bananas and sugar cane.

5.2.   Specificity of the product:

Specific quality

The melon which the producers of Guadeloupe have chosen to cultivate is a yellow Charentais melon. Of all the various types of melon, it is this one which best encapsulates the particularities of the locality in which it is grown. These melons, apart from their high sugar content, possess exceptional flavours and aromas and, in the case of some varieties, a musky taste. It is the fruits produced by the producers of Guadeloupe which are most highly prized by melon lovers.

The particular nature of the climate of Guadeloupe is such that many varieties that grow well in temperate regions are not able to adapt to the conditions in Guadeloupe. Therefore, the melon producers of Guadeloupe select those varieties of yellow Charentais melon whose characteristics are best brought out in Guadeloupe. The selection process also involves a tasting session: the aromas of the melon and the colour and texture of the flesh are therefore all taken into account.

A survey of wholesalers and retailers who purchase ‘Melons de Guadeloupe’ confirms that the melons are perceived as being of excellent quality, regular in shape, able to keep well and aromatic, which distinguishes them from melons originating elsewhere which are sold concurrently.

The ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’ is characterised by a sweet flavour with a multiplicity of aromas, lots of flavour and tender flesh. The flesh of the melon keeps particularly well. The minimum sugar content is set at 12 °Brix.

Expertise evident in a method of cultivation adapted to local conditions

The producers have chosen to practise solely open-field cultivation, without shelter, so that the melons derive the greatest possible benefit from the soil and climate of Guadeloupe. The producers have also chosen to grow their melons during the optimum period for the aromas of the fruits to express themselves, i.e. during the driest season of the year, although melon production is possible the whole year round.

They have adapted the way they work the soil to the potential offered by the environment. To preserve the qualities (stability, water reserve, etc.) of the special soils on Grande-Terre and Marie-Galante favourable for growing melons, working of the soil is restricted and may be performed only when the soil is dry. These practices are therefore set out in the specification.

In addition, the producers have for several years made efforts to use fertiliser and irrigation more rationally and limit their use of chemical herbicides, so as to protect soil and water resources in the localities concerned. These aspects of the cultivation techniques are stipulated in the specifications.

Reputation of the ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’

Since as early as the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s several press articles have referred to the reputation of the ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’, which is an acknowledged high-quality ‘out-of-season’ fruit (in European terms).

The ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’ has made inroads into the French and European markets since the end of the 1980s. Today the out-of-season ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’ stands alone, is globally recognised and is maintaining its market position.

Therefore, for the French Antilles the reference price for out-of-season melons on the price list of the Rungis International Market is based on melons originating from Guadeloupe, reflecting the fact that melons from Guadeloupe are more widely known, partly because of their volume of production, but also because of their quality.

The ‘Melons de Guadeloupe’ are generally rated more highly than melons originating elsewhere at the same time, as the market recognises their high quality and reputation. This has been confirmed by a study on the sale prices of Charentais melons of various origins at the Rungis International Market from 2000 to 2006.

5.3.   Causal link between the geographical area and the quality or characteristics of the product (for PDO) or a specific quality, the reputation or other characteristic of the product (for PGI):

The climate prevailing over Guadeloupe during the dry season (‘carême’) and the clay-limestone soil of Grande-Terre and Marie-Galante are conducive to the natural production of high-quality melons in open fields. Because of their dry and well-aerated climate, proximity to the sea (which dampens down excessive heat and limits plant diseases) and clay-limestone soil, Grande-Terre and Marie-Galante favour the production of sweet melons with many special aromas. Furthermore, the presence of a significant amount of calcium in the soil leads to the production of fruits which characteristically keep exceptionally well. The land is particularly conducive to growing yellow Charentais melons with either a smooth or reticulated rind, and each type can develop to its maximum potential in terms of aromas, flavour, rind colour and taste.

The requisite quality of the melon can be attained only if care is taken not to rush anything, whether it be the rotation of melon beds, the various ways of preparing the soil, the way water or fertiliser is supplied at each growth stage of the plant and the way the cultivar is produced. Therefore, it is the expertise of the producers, as much in the working of the soil as in the upkeep of the melon beds and the daily harvest of fruit which helps achieve optimum quality. A manual, tactile, visual, careful and highly discriminating selection process has raised the profile of the ‘Melon de Guadeloupe’ to a high level, leading to it being appreciated today by all its European distributors for its ability to keep exceptionally well after harvest, its richness in sugar and its aromas and, consequently, its particularities when compared with melons of other origins on sale at the same time.

Reference to publication of the specification:

(Article 5(7) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006)

(1)  OJ L 93, 31.3.2006, p. 12.