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Document 52018XC0307(01)

Publication of an application for approval of minor amendments in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs

OJ C 87, 7.3.2018, p. 6–19 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

7.3.2018   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 87/6


Publication of an application for approval of minor amendments in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs

(2018/C 87/05)

The European Commission has approved this minor amendment in accordance with the third subparagraph of Article 6(2) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 664/2014 (1).

APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL OF MINOR AMENDMENTS

Application for approval of minor amendments in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council  (2)

‘AIL BLANC DE LOMAGNE’

EU No: PGI-FR-0470-AM01 — 11.8.2017

PDO ( ) PGI ( X ) TSG ( )

1.   Applicant group and legitimate interest

Name: Association de défense de l'ail blanc de Lomagne

Address: Agropole Innovations

Bâtiment AGROTEC — BP 206

47931 Agen Cedex 9

FRANCE

Tel. +33 553772271

Fax +33 553772279

Members: producers and packagers

The applicant group is made up of producers and packagers of the PGI ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’, who have formed an association governed by the Law of 1 July 1901. It therefore has a legitimate right to request amendments to the product specification.

2.   Member State or Third Country

France

3.   Heading in the product specification affected by the amendment(s)

Product description

Proof of origin

Production method

Link

Labelling

Other: [applicant group, product description, geographical area, proof of origin, link, labelling, national requirements, control structures.]

4.   Type of amendment(s)

Amendment to the product specification of a registered PDO or PGI to be qualified as minor in accordance with the third subparagraph of Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, that requires no amendment to the published single document.

Amendment to the product specification of a registered PDO or PGI to be qualified as minor in accordance with the third subparagraph of Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 and requiring an amendment to the published single document.

Amendment to the product specification of a registered PDO or PGI to be qualified as minor in accordance with the third subparagraph of Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, for which a single document (or equivalent) has not been published.

Amendment to the product specification of a registered TSG to be qualified as minor in accordance with the fourth subparagraph of Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012.

5.   Amendment(s)

To the section on the ‘Production method’

Production diagram

The production diagram figure has been amended so it complies with the amendments contained in this application. It has been merged with the table showing the cultivation cycle.

Choice of varieties

The following paragraphs:

‘A mass selection undertaken in 1970 from local “Blanc de Lomagne” garlic populations has resulted in the creation of two varieties: Corail and Jolimont (both autumn varieties), which are well adapted to the production area (they are clones produced from native populations).

Given their characteristics and adaptation to the production area (as they are clones from native populations) Corail and Jolimont are the recommended varieties for planting.’

Have been replaced by: ‘Corail and Jolimont (clones from native populations) are the authorised varieties; they are autumn varieties that are well adapted to the production area and were produced by mass selection of local “Blanc de Lomagne” garlic populations.’

This paragraph has been reworded for greater clarity, without any change in meaning,

The wording:

‘The Messidrome and Thermidrome varieties, which have similar characteristics to the Corail and Jolimont varieties, but are produced from a native population of “Blanc de la Drôme”, are authorised for planting where the quantities of Corail and Jolimont seed for planting are not sufficient to meet demand.’

has been replaced by:

‘Planting Messidrome and Thermidrome varieties, which have similar characteristics to the Corail and Jolimont varieties, but are produced from a native population of “Blanc de la Drôme”, is also authorised.’

The wording has been amended to make it more readable, without any change to the meaning. The description of the varieties has been annexed to the specifications. The following sentence has been added accordingly: ‘A description of the varieties Corail, Jolimont, Messidrome and Thermidrome is set out in Annex 1.’

The Protocol on adding new varieties has been supplemented with details on how the expert group with the remit of selecting new varieties operates: the group is convened by the Association; at least three of the five members must be present; each member has one vote and decisions are taken by simple majority. It has also been specified that the applicant group is required to submit the list of varieties to the National Institute for Origin and Quality (INAO) annually.

These documents have been moved to the Annex in order to make the specifications easier to read.

The sentence: ‘Only white garlic varieties that have been certified by the SOC (France's Official Plant Inspection and Certification Authority) and registered in the CTPS (Comité technique permanent de sélection — Standing Technical Committee on Plant Selection) catalogue are included in this list’

has been replaced by ‘Only white garlic varieties that have been registered in the CTPS (Comité technique permanent de sélection — Standing Technical Committee on Plant Selection) catalogue are included in this list’

The reference to SOC (France's Official Plant Inspection and Certification Authority) has been deleted because it is not needed, given that the only official requirement is registration in the official CTPS catalogue.

Choice of seed

The introductory paragraph on the history of the varietal selection has been moved to the section ‘Evidence of the link with the geographical area’. The previous reference to the seeds' phytosanitary quality has been deleted as it has no direct connection with the characteristics of the PGI.

The main amendment concerns the option of using so-called farm seed. The following sentence has been added to this end:

‘At least 75 % of the seed sown must be certified, while the remaining 25 % may be farm seed from varieties listed in the PGI's annual list of varieties.’

This option has been added to ensure the supply of seed regardless of weather conditions, which can impact upon certified seed production; in the past the group has faced problems regarding the supply of certified seed, in particular due to phytosanitary problems. This amendment does not affect the quality of the product, given that only the varieties authorised in the specifications can be planted.

Choice of plot

The following paragraphs have been deleted because they were explanatory rather than binding provisions:

‘The majority of the soils in the production area are moderate to very deep heavy clay soils (known locally as terreforts) with no physical barriers preventing the garlic from putting down roots. In dry weather, the clay shrinks leaving cracks, which enable good water reserves.’

‘Preparing the soil: This is done in dry weather between July and September to improve the soil structure: tilling the clay-limestone soil during dry weather avoids the soil lumping into furrows where it has been ploughed and therefore makes for a well-aerated soil structure. Tilling the soil early in the season improves the soil structure as, on the one hand, the alternation of wet and dry conditions has the effect of breaking up the clods and, on the other, the soil can always be tilled again to break up any remaining clods.’

The provision on crop rotation has been simplified by removing the aspects that were not binding:

The sentence: ‘Producers rotate their crops. They choose a plot that has not been planted with garlic for the last three crop years to plant the crop.

The length of the growing season for garlic in the climatic conditions in Lomagne makes it suitable for crop rotation: a winter crop, followed by a summer crop. In Lomagne, garlic is often planted after a cereal crop grown for straw.’

has been replaced by:

‘The plots have not been planted with garlic for three years (replanting takes place in the fourth year).’

A further detail has been added concerning the end of the crop rotation ‘return to planting garlic in the fourth year’ to make the provision clearer to read.

Sowing: the following provisions, which were non-binding, have been deleted:

‘sowing on soil with a well aerated structure. In Lomagne, at this time of the year, temperature and rainfall allow the clay to progressively decrease in temperature until it reaches an indicative temperature of between 3 and 7 °C, when the garlic therefore ceases to be dormant.’

Planting density has changed from ‘8 to 14 feet’ to ‘6 to 14 feet’ per linear metre: this amendment has been made to comply with changes in farming practices. Planting density depends on the size and weight of the cloves (seed) and on the size of the bulbs, which justify the difference in planting distances per linear metre. Furthermore, there may also be two, three or four rows per m2 so as to best tailor the application of nitrogen fertiliser to the plant's needs. The development of this type of farming practice, which is directly connected to limiting the use of nitrogen fertiliser, has enabled farmers to perfect their farming techniques and demonstrated that a planting density of 6 feet per linear metre for larger sized cloves was well suited to the production of ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ and had no negative impact on the quality of the product.

The average sowing depth (‘at a depth of approximately 5-6 cm’) has been deleted as this is an approximate and average depth, which may vary depending on the size of the cloves and the type of soil, and was not binding.

The provision ‘Only certified seed able to guarantee phytosanitary quality is authorised’ has been deleted in line with the amendment regarding the possibility of making limited use of so-called farm seed.

The sentence on crop development: ‘Lomagne's mild winters make it possible to avoid bulb losses due to frost and mean that planting density can be maintained. These mild winter conditions are extremely conducive to the garlic's development as it starts to grow at 0 °C.’ has been deleted as it serves to illustrate the link between the product and its origin and has therefore been partially included in the ‘Link with the geographical area’ section.

Phytosanitary treatments

The following paragraph has been deleted: ‘Using certified seed protects against nematodes and also viruses and certain fungi’ in line with the amendment allowing the use of farm seed.

The following sentence ‘Furthermore, coating the seed before it is planted limits the development of mould on the cloves (Penicillium) and during growth (Sclerotium cepivorum)’ has been deleted as it is purely informative.

Text that is advisory in nature and references to good agricultural practices with regard to phytosanitary treatments have been deleted: ‘Any phytosanitary measure must be justified by findings on the plot and/or by findings made by technicians on the network of plots and/or in a technical report.

The network consists of reference plots located in the production area that are regularly and periodically monitored with regard to the development of parasites and diseases and to record rainfall.’

This text providing advice on the major crop diseases and parasites is informatory and advisory in nature and not binding; it has been deleted to improve the readability of the specifications. The following paragraph on weeding has been deleted:

‘Weeding

Chemical herbicide is applied straight after sowing, before the garlic has started to sprout.

A second application of chemical herbicide may be required at the “3-5 leaf” stage if weeds are starting to grow.

Further herbicide may also be applied if there is a proliferation of weeds in spring after the “3-5 leaf” stage provided the time periods within which the specific herbicides used can be applied are respected.’

The sentence requiring the application of herbicide after sowing has been deleted as the group does not want to force producers to apply herbicide, so this is now left to each producer's discretion. The rest of the paragraph has been deleted as it simply provides technical advice. This amendment improves the readability of the specifications.

The following sentence: ‘The application of anti-germination treatments to inhibit the germination process and thus preserve the cloves internal quality is authorised when the garlic is being grown.’

has been replaced by: ‘Anti-germination treatments are authorised.’

This amendment serves to clarify the provision, without changing the meaning, as the text deleted provided no more than information and advice. This amendment improves the readability of the specifications.

The following paragraph on alternating active substances has been deleted:

‘In order to encourage the alternation of active substances, producers must refer to the records of previous phytosanitary measures and to the list of products approved for use on the crop. Alternating the active substances used limits the residue levels on the bulbs and minimises the risk of pests developing resistance to the products.’

This text, which is not binding, has been deleted as it provided no more than information and advice. This amendment improves the readability of the specifications.

The provisions on analysing the spraying equipment and storing plant protection products have been deleted because they are covered by the relevant general legislation:

‘Analysis of spraying equipment:

The equipment is checked every two years to ensure that is working properly and to make any adjustments needed.

Storing plant protection products:

All plant protection products must be stored in a specific locked room or cupboard.’

Fertilisers

The following paragraph has been deleted as it is covered by general regulations on sludge spreading: ‘Regarding the rules on sludge spreading, producers should refer to the legislation in force. When farmers grow garlic on land on which sludge has been spread, they must test the bulbs to check that the residual heavy metal levels comply with the limits laid down by the regulations.’

A clarification has been added concerning how to apply nitrogen fertiliser and potash/phosphorus: ‘per hectare and per year’ has been added after the fertiliser inputs authorised.

So the following sentences: ‘Nitrogen fertiliser is limited to a maximum of 150 units applied in more than one application: a maximum of 30 to 60 units can be applied at any one time.

Potash and phosphorus inputs must not exceed 200 units for phosphorus and 250 units for potash.’

have been replaced by: ‘Nitrogen fertiliser is limited to 150 units maximum per hectare and per year applied in more than one application: a maximum of 30 to 60 units can be applied at any one time.

Potash and phosphorus inputs must not exceed 200 units per hectare and per year for phosphorus and 250 units per hectare and per year for potash.’

These additions make it possible to specify permissible inputs clearly and without ambiguity with regard to reference values, which therefore make it easier to check compliance with these provisions.

The deadline for applying nitrogen fertiliser ‘(around mid-April)’ corresponding to the ‘8-10 leaf’ stage of physiological development has been removed.

This text has been deleted as it is purely informative in nature and in fact subject to variation as it depends on climatic conditions. The reference to the plant's physiological development is more accurate and has been maintained.

Irrigation

The wording of the provision on irrigation has been redrafted.

The following provision: ‘As garlic is grown as a winter crop planted on clay-limestone soils with high water retention capacity, irrigation is only justified in the event of major water shortage during the periods of “key importance” for the development of the bulbs: from the “3-5 leaf stage” (the active growth phase) and during the formation of the cloves (May).’

has therefore been replaced by: ‘Irrigation is permitted.’ This amendment clearly confirms that irrigation is allowed. Just as in the current specifications, irrigation is left to the discretion of the producers, who factor in any water shortages that may occur during the periods when the bulbs are developing. It is of course in the garlic producers' interest to only irrigate when the plants actually require it to preserve the garlic's quality and avoid the bulbs bursting apart.

When to harvest

‘The usual harvest dates that were provided by way of indication (generally between 15 and 30 June’) have been deleted.

Processing after harvest

The sentence prohibiting any processing after harvest has been redrafted without changing the meaning ‘No processing is authorised after harvesting.’ has been replaced by: ‘All processing after harvesting is prohibited.’

Drying

The paragraph's first sentence has been amended: ‘Drying, the last step before selling the garlic, is essential for preserving the product's internal quality throughout the period that it is marketed and sold’

has been replaced by: ‘Drying is essential for preserving the product's internal quality throughout the period that it is marketed and sold.’

This amendment has been made as drying is not the last step before selling the garlic and so for the sake of readability the words ‘the last step before selling the garlic’ have been deleted.

The sentence ‘The garlic is dried through either natural or forced ventilation’ has been added to enable the authorised drying conditions to be read easily; both drying methods are described in the following paragraphs of the specification.

The following paragraph has been deleted:

‘In addition to the traditional way of drying garlic by hanging it from a beam, producers of Ail de Lomagne have developed a drying method using forced ventilation. This method, used primarily for drying garlic that has had its stem and roots removed, demonstrates the ability of producers to adapt to new market demands. Whereas in the past garlic was sold in bunches or plaits/braids, the way the market has developed with regard to packaging facilities has meant that current demand is to present garlic for sale without stem or roots. Drying garlic by hanging it from a beam is no longer suitable for garlic without a stem, so producers have worked on introducing an alternative method: drying using forced ventilation.’

The historical aspects of this paragraph, which recount the developments in the market for garlic and changing production practices, have been moved to the section ‘Evidence of the link with the geographical area’, which is a more appropriate place for such information.

The technical data has been maintained and included in the next sentence.

The sentence: ‘Ventilation consists of drawing air from outside into the bulk garlic’

has therefore been replaced by: ‘Forced ventilation is primarily used for drying garlic without stem or roots; it consists of drawing air from outside into the bulk garlic’

How the garlic is arranged during drying and the garlic's drying curve (weight loss/day) have been deleted as they do not provide any information that is vital for understanding the specifications, and constituted no more than non-binding advice. References and referrals to these data have also been deleted.

The protocol for measuring the garlic's weight loss has been removed because it constitutes self-imposed checking, is advisory in nature and inherently subject to change.

The following paragraph has therefore been deleted:

‘The state of progress of the drying process is gauged by monitoring the garlic's weight loss. The weight of the garlic is monitored using 10 kg sacks placed in the drying area as indicators. Weighing these bags regularly enables the garlic's weight loss to be tracked. A comparison with the standard drying curve (see curve below) enables the ventilation conditions to be adjusted accordingly.

where the weight loss is too rapid, the ventilation rate is reduced;

where the weight loss is too slow, the ventilation speed is increased and the ventilation air can be artificially heated.’

The provision prohibiting the use of fuel has been reworded to remove the text that was for information only:

The sentence: ‘The use of fuel, which produces toxic particles, is prohibited for heating the air used for ventilation.’

has been replaced by: ‘It is prohibited to use fuel to heat the air used for ventilation.’

Peeling

The following sentence: ‘After peeling, the garlic must be approved by the producer or in the packing facility before being stored, packaged and marketed’ has been deleted.

This amendment aims to delete non-binding provisions that are not essential for understanding the specifications and thereby to improve their readability.

All the stages listed in that sentence are included in detail in the following paragraphs of the specifications.

Storage

A new wording has been suggested which does not alter the existing provisions, so the amendment therefore has no impact on the quality of the product.

The sentence: ‘Garlic marketed from December can be put into cold storage at below zero (at between –1 °C to –4 °C). Cold storage makes it possible to slow down germination and thus preserve the garlic's intrinsic quality if it is done before 15 September.’

has been replaced by: ‘For marketing in December of the harvest year, the garlic must be stored at below zero (between –1 °C to –4 °C) not later than 15 September following the harvest.’

Sorting/approval

The sections on ‘sorting’ and ‘approval’ have been merged into one.

References to annexes or documents that have been deleted from the specifications have been removed.

The term ‘PGIable’ has been replaced with ‘that meet the criteria for the PGI’ or ‘in line with the criteria for the PGI’, to improve readability. Some clarifications have also been added: it has been specified that sorting consists of doing an initial separation of the garlic bulbs, and it has been added that the reference photo is ‘sent out by the Association’.

These additions make the specifications easier to understand.

The following paragraph:

‘Sorting consists of separating “PGIable” garlic from the garlic that does not make the grade. This operation depends on two criteria: visual appearance and size.

The approver checks that each bulb satisfies the specific characteristics of “Ail blanc de Lomagne”.

Visual appearance

The bulbs that do not meet the description of “PGIable” garlic are removed by hand (see table A, page 5). The approver is provided with a reference photo (see Annex 2) to help him or her evaluate the garlic's visual criteria (defects in appearance).’

has been replaced as follows:

‘Sorting consists of the initial separation of the garlic bulbs that meet the criteria for the PGI from those that do not. This operation depends on two criteria: visual appearance and size.

The approver checks that each bulb satisfies the specific characteristics of “Ail blanc de Lomagne”.

Visual appearance

Garlic bulbs that do not meet the criteria for the PGI are removed by hand. The approver is provided with a reference photo by the Association to help him or her evaluate the garlic's visual criteria (defects in appearance).’

These additions make the specifications easier to understand and better drafted.

The introductory paragraph to part ‘7.7 Approval’ on where in the geographical area approval should take place has been deleted. This amendment aims to delete non-binding provisions from the specifications that are merely informative and do not add anything new to the specifications. This amendment thus helps to improve the readability of the specifications.

The paragraph on sampling has been amended without changing the meaning: text that was merely informative or for referral has been deleted.

The paragraph: ‘All operators adopt the same garlic approval procedure. Using the sample taken, the authorised agent approves the batch on the basis of the criteria set in the specification (cf. the characteristics of “Ail blanc de Lomagne” on page 5 of the specifications):’

has therefore been replaced as follows: ‘All operators adopt the same garlic approval procedure.’

The following paragraph has been deleted:

‘The results of the approval are recorded on a specific form (model in Annex 5). Each “PGI” batch is specifically identified in order to avoid any mix up, during storage, with non-compliant batches.’

This text has been deleted because it repeats information already included in the section on traceability (registration sheet and identification of the garlic) under ‘Evidence that the product originates from the defined geographical area’.

Traditional presentation

The following paragraph has been deleted:

‘To be approved as PGI “Ail blanc de Lomagne”, traditional garlic presentations must be made with “Ail blanc de Lomagne” bulbs that comply with the characteristics laid down in the specifications (Table A, page 5, reference photos in Annex 2) and are of uniform colour and size.

The result of the approval is recorded on a specific form (model in Annex 5). Each “PGI” batch is specifically identified in order to avoid any mix up, during storage, with non-compliant batches.’

This text has been deleted because it repeats information included in other parts of the specifications. The information on traceability (registration and identification of garlic) has already been included in the paragraph ‘Evidence that the product originates from the defined geographical area’. The information on the approval of the garlic is detailed in Section 5.14 ‘Sorting/approval’ of the amended product specification. This amendment improves the readability of the specifications.

Post-approval stages

The following sentence has been deleted: ‘So as not to lose its geographical indication, the approved PGI “Ail blanc de Lomagne” must be treated with care during all the stages following the approval.’ This provision is non-binding and has been deleted as it constitutes good practice and is advisory in nature. This amendment improves the readability of the specifications.

Packaging

The following phrases have been deleted: ‘If the bulbs are handled too often this can lead to tears in the protective outer skin, and also fluctuations in temperature or humidity that can jeopardise the successful conservation of the product’

These non-binding provisions have been deleted because they are merely informative and advisory in nature. This amendment improves the readability of the specifications.

Heading ‘Other’

Tidying up the specifications:

All the section titles have been amended and harmonised to comply with regulatory requirements.

Text has been reworded and/or removed where it was merely advisory or informative in nature or cited the general regulatory framework in the following sections of the specifications:

Applicant group

The applicant group's contact details have been updated. The details of its remit have been deleted because this is covered by the general regulatory framework. The list of the various producers' names has been removed as this is liable to change.

Product description

Informatory or explanatory text has been withdrawn from the specifications:

The following paragraphs have therefore been deleted:

‘The first attempts by the Centre régional d'innovation et de transfert de technologie — CRITT [Regional Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer] of the University of Tours to measure the sulphur compounds in “Ail blanc de Lomagne” showed a difference in its sulphur compound composition. The marketing period for “Ail blanc de Lomagne” usually takes place between 15 July and 15 December, after it has been dried and peeled.

“Ail blanc de Lomagne” complies with the minimum characteristics set by Regulation (EC) No 2288/97 (the main points of the EC regulation can be found in Annex 1). It is marketed in Classes Extra and I with, for Class I, specific restrictions for the PGI “Ail blanc de Lomagne” (see the next page of Table A).’

The authorised marketing methods ‘in trays or bags, in the form of individual portions in mesh type bags’ has been deleted because this is redundant with regard to paragraph 5.17, ‘Packaging’ of the amended product specification.

Traditional presentation in ‘grappes and bunches’ has been added in line with the types of traditional presentation defined in paragraph 5.15 ‘Traditional presentation’ of the amended specifications.

The table comparing the PGI ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ with standard garlic has been deleted; only characteristics specific to the PGI have been maintained in the text under that heading.

The paragraph on ‘Tolerance’ lists three appearance defects that are tolerated, which, in the current product specification, are indicated in the aforementioned table that has been deleted (‘slight tears in the outer skin of the bulb’ and ‘a clove missing without tears in the outer skin’), as well as in the former Regulation (EC) No 2288/97 for Class I, to which this specification refers (‘healed injuries’). This paragraph also reproduces exactly the 10 % by weight tolerance specified in this table.

Geographical area

The presentation of municipalities per canton has been replaced by a list of municipalities per department.

The map of the geographical area has been replaced by a simplified map. The distribution of the various operators throughout the area has been removed as this is liable to change. The map of the small agricultural regions has been deleted as it does not add anything vital for understanding the specifications.

The data on the historical aspects of garlic production and the natural characteristics of the defined geographical area have been deleted; they have been moved to the section ‘Evidence of the link with the geographical origin’.

Evidence proving that the agricultural product originates from the defined geographical area

The provision ‘Identification of producers: All operators wishing to engage in all or part of the process of producing “Ail blanc de Lomagne” have to register with the group in order to be authorised’ has been added as this is a national regulatory obligation.

The paragraph containing the evidence that the agricultural product originates from the defined area has been amended: the different steps concerning producers and packagers have been grouped into a single table.

The table on distribution has been deleted, as the relevant operators are not covered by the specifications.

Link

The section concerning the evidence of the link with the geographical origin of the specifications has been redrafted to better describe the specific characteristics of the geographical area, the specific characteristics of the product and the causal link. It does not contain any substantive changes and repeats information contained in the other sections of the specifications in force, such as the sections ‘Definition of the geographical area’ and ‘Production method’. Illustrations, reports, newspaper articles and graphics have been deleted because they do not provide any information that is vital for understanding the specifications.

Labelling

The reference to the European ‘PGI’ logo has been deleted as this falls under the general rules.

National requirements

In the light of changes to national legislation and rules, a table has been added summarising the main points to be verified and how they are to be assessed.

Inspection bodies

In accordance with national guidelines aimed at harmonising the way specifications are drafted, the name and contact details of the certification body have been deleted. Under this heading, the contact details of the authorities responsible for national inspections are now provided, i.e. the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) and the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF). The name and contact details of the certification body can be consulted via the website of the INAO and the European Commission's database.

Removal of the glossary and all annexes

The glossary has been deleted because the various acronyms are explained in the body of the text.

All the annexes to the specifications in force have been deleted because they constitute illustrations that are not essential for understanding the specifications.

The amended product specification now contains two annexes: Annex 1 containing the description of the varieties and Annex 2 on the Protocol for adding new varieties.

In conclusion, this amendment application principally concerns changes in form. It entails the removal of information that is advisory in nature, covered by general rules or pertaining to the history of the PGI. These amendments are intended to make the specifications easier to read and understand. They are non-binding and have no impact on the quality of the product.

The section on the link to the geographical origin has been redrafted to better describe the product but does not entail any substantive changes.

The provision on planting density is in line with current farming practices and has no impact on the product.

The main amendment concerns the option of using farm seed in quantities of 25 %, as opposed to the previous requirement to use 100 % certified seed; this option is limited to only the varieties authorised in the specifications and has no impact on the quality of the product.

In accordance with Article 53, the proposed amendments do not relate to the essential characteristics of the product, do not alter the link, do not include a change to the name of the product, do not affect the defined geographical area and do not represent an increase in restrictions on trade in the product or its raw materials.

In the light of all these aspects, the proposed amendments are minor within the meaning of Article 53 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012.

6.   Updated product specification (only for PDO and PGI)

https://info.agriculture.gouv.fr/gedei/site/bo-agri/document_administratif-975bae1b-de70-4aeb-a1ac-0fd8765dd9fe

SINGLE DOCUMENT

‘AIL BLANC DE LOMAGNE’

EU No: PGI-FR-0470-AM01 — 11.8.2017

PDO ( ) PGI ( X )

1.   Name(s)

‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’

2.   Member State or Third Country

France

3.   Description of the agricultural product or foodstuff

3.1.   Type of product

Class 1.6. Fruit, vegetables and cereals, fresh or processed

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

‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ is garlic with white to ivory white bulbs, sometimes streaked with violet, made up of several cloves (8 to 12 depending on the size). It is characterised by the bulb's round and regular shape.

Of a minimum size of 45 mm, it is distinguished by the size and evenness of its cloves, which are beige to cream in colour, sometimes streaked with violet. Its bulbs are whole and its cloves closely packed.

Each clove is wrapped in a husk consisting of a single layer of skin. The individual cloves together form a bulb, which is itself covered by several layers of thin skin.

The roots are cut off flush with the bulb.

‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ consumed raw — finely sliced or crushed — has a characteristic and long-lasting taste and scent due to the presence of sulphur compounds.

When the cloves are roasted or cooked whole and unpeeled, they become soft and the aromas lose their intensity.

3.3.   Feed (for products of animal origin only) and raw materials (for processed products only)

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

The garlic is grown, dried, peeled and presented in the traditional way in the geographical area.

3.5.   Specific rules concerning slicing, grating, packaging, etc. of the product the registered name refers to

‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ may be marketed in the form of traditional plaits, grappes, bunches or baskets.

‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ is packaged in trays, bags or individual portions. Repacking is prohibited so as to limit repeated handling of the garlic, which could undermine its quality.

3.6.   Specific rules concerning labelling of the product the registered name refers to

The labelling must include the batch identification number.

4.   Concise definition of the geographical area

The geographical area covers the following municipalities in the departments of Gers and Tarn-et-Garonne:

Department of Gers:

The cantons of: Gimone-Arrats, L'Isle-Jourdin, Fleurance-Lomagne, Lectoure-Lomagne and Baïse-Armagnac

The municipalities of: Ansan, Aubiet, Augnax, Beaumont, Bezolles, Blanquefort, Bonas, Cassaigne, Castillon-Savès, Crastes, L'Isle-Arné, Jegun, Juilles, Larressingle, Lavardens, Lussan, Mansencôme, Marsan, Mérens, Mirepoix, Montaut-les-Créneaux, Montiron, Mouchan, Nougaroulet, Peyrusse-Massas, Preignan, Puycasquier, Roquefort, Roquelaure, Rozès, Saint-Caprais, Saint-Paul-de-Baïse, Sainte-Christie and Tourrenquets.

Department of Tarn-et-Garonne:

The municipalities of: Auterive, Balignac, Beaumont-de-Lomagne, Beaupuy, Belbèse-en-Lomagne, Bouillac, Bourret, Le Causé, Comberouger, Cordes-Tolosannes, Coutures, Cumont, Dunes, Escazeaux, Esparsac, Fajolles, Faudoas, Gariès, Gensac, Gimat, Glatens, Goas, Gramont, Labourgade, Lachapelle, Lafitte, Lamothe-Cumont, Larrazet, Lavit, Mansonville, Marignac, Marsac, Maubec, Maumusson, Montaïn, Montgaillard, Poupas, Puygaillard-de-Lomagne, Saint-Arroumex, Saint-Cirice, Saint-Jean-du-Bouzet, Saint-Loup, Saint-Sardos, Sérignac, Sistels and Vigueron.

5.   Link with the geographical area

Specificity of the geographical area

Lomagne is a natural region in north-east Gascogne, included among the 61 agricultural regions of the Midi-Pyrénées administrative region. The ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ production area straddles the departments of Gers and Tarn-et-Garonne. In geological terms, this area is framed:

to the north and east, by the range of terraces formed by the ancient alluvial deposits of the Garonne,

to the west of Condomois by the rough sand formations of Armagnac [les sables fauves] and by the sands of the Landes,

to the south, by the higher and more abrupt molassic hills south of Gers.

Most of the geographical area is located on molassic formations dating from the Miocene epoch; these formations are continental fluvial and lake formations, characterised by highly heterogeneous facies. They consist of alternate layers of clay or marl and discontinuous layers of sand, sandstone or limestone, with the occurrence of calcareous banks that are increasingly frequent and increasingly thick to the west.

This region consists of succession of hills sculpted by numerous valleys and branching thalwegs. The slopes are asymmetric depending on their exposure: slopes exposed to the south and to the west are steeper than those exposed to the north and to the east; this asymmetry is more pronounced towards the west of the area.

The soils vary in type. Where the land faces south and west, the soil is not very deep, as it is lying directly over the molassic outcrops; the soil type is closely linked to the underlying molassic facies. On the cold slopes, however, the soils have developed into formations resulting from the evolution of the molasse: they are deeper, particularly at the lower part of slope, often with textures with a predominance of clay; the problem of excess water tends to be more pronounced there, especially in the dips of the slopes. Brown limestone soils, with a clay-loam to loamy-clay texture, can be found throughout the geographical area. They have a good structure thanks to the abundance of calcium. As a result, despite the fact that the soil is clay-heavy, water infiltration takes place correctly and excess water phenomena are slight.

The climate in the Lomagne region differs from the neighbouring regions in that it is relatively dry. There are two marked peaks in rainfall, one in December and January (70 to 80 mm each month), and the other in May, with values of between 75 and 90 mm. Winters are relatively short and mild.

The Lomagne region is subject to two prevailing winds:

west winds from the Atlantic, which bring rain and humidity; they blow mainly in autumn and winter, and are responsible for rehydrating the soil and aquifers.

the ‘Autan’ wind from the south-east is a hot and dry wind which blows mainly in spring and summer.

Growing garlic in Lomagne has long been a tradition: it was mainly intended for family and local consumption. On 6 September 1265, mention is made of income from gardening concerning growing leeks, garlic, onions, cabbages and beans according to the analysis made by Abbé Galabert in ‘Coutumes du village de Gariès’ [Customs of the village of Gariès] (Bulletin du comité des travaux historiques [Historical Studies Committee Review] of 1896/p. 567, article 14).

At the end of the 19th century, some reports mention the economic importance of garlic cultivation in Lomagne: ‘Garlic, so maligned by the gourmets of the North, is a plant cherished by our farming. The canton of Beaumont evaluates its income from garlic at not less than 300 francs. This plant, according to a local survey, can easily command a gross income of 700 francs per hectare’ (‘Mémoire sur la culture de l'ail’ [Dissertation on garlic cultivation] by Mr Rossel, awarded a prize by the Société des sciences, agriculture, belles-lettres of Montauban in 1864). The peasants used to sell their produce at some traditional markets. From 1936 onwards, the garlic market was held at rue de l'Église and rue de l'Hospice at Beaumont-de-Lomagne. With sales of dry garlic reaching a quarter of national production, the market of Beaumont-de-Lomagne underwent rapid expansion in the early 1970s.

Garlic growing continued to progress steadily during the twentieth century, from 80 ha in 1902 to 2 810 ha in 1980 (Annual agricultural statistics/day of action of the Agricultural Services Directorate of Tarn-et-Garonne).

From 1958, the trade union of garlic producers took steps to produce high-quality garlic and selected it on the basis of criteria designed to maximise its commercial value. In 1965, COOP AIL, the first sales cooperative was set up. In the same year, CETA (Centre d'etude techniques agricoles — Centre for technical agricultural studies) and the Union of garlic producers officially registered the brand name ‘Ail de Beaumont-de-Lomagne’. In 1970, a mass selection from local ‘Blanc de Lomagne’ populations gave rise to the creation of two white garlic varieties, Corail and Jolimont. International days to celebrate garlic of quality were held in Beaumont-de-Lomagne in September 1980.

In addition to the technical innovations concerning ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’, numerous events have been held since the beginning of the 1960s: the first competition for the most beautiful bunch of white garlic was held in 1961, the first fair organised around the garlic competition was held in 1963 in partnership with the Agricultural Show, the syndicat d'initiative (an association for the development of tourism) and the municipality of Beaumont-de-Lomagne, under the aegis of Montauban's Agricultural Services; since then, the white garlic competition takes place every year at the Beaumont-de-Lomagne September Fair.

‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ is sown in autumn and harvested when fully mature, around the feast of Saint John on 23/24 of June. Traditional drying using natural ventilation, which is also called ‘beam drying’, consists of hanging the garlic harvested with its leaves, in bunches of around thirty bulbs, in premises that are sheltered but with adequate ventilation. This drying method is used for garlic harvested with its leaves intended mainly for making strings of garlic, etc. ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ producers have developed a drying method by forced ventilation, used mainly for drying of garlic without stem or roots. Peeling the garlic consists of manually removing one or several external shrivelled, torn or discoloured husks. The roots are cut off flush with the root disc.

Specificity of the product

‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ is produced mainly from the local varieties Corail and Jolimont. It has white to ivory white bulbs, sometimes streaked with violet, made up of several cloves. It is characterised by the bulb's round and regular shape and a minimum size of 45 mm, and by the size and evenness of its cloves. Each clove is wrapped in a husk consisting of a single layer of skin. The individual cloves together form a bulb, which is itself covered by several layers of thin skin. The roots are cut off flush with the bulb.

‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ may be marketed in the form of traditional plaits, grappes, bunches or baskets.

The name ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ enjoys an excellent reputation on local and national markets.

Causal link

Registration as a PGI is justified by the quality and historic and current reputation of ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’. Lomagne's specific soil and climatic characteristics, the preservation of local varieties and traditional practices explain how this production has continued from 1265 to the present day.

Lomagne's clay-limestone soils have physical and chemical characteristics that are particularly well suited to the requirements of white garlic crops. The good soil structure enables the plants to establish a deep root system, thus ensuring a good water and mineral supply. The absence of excess surface water and good aeration thanks to the soil structure enable the soil to warm rapidly in spring, ensuring a rapid resumption of plant growth at the end of winter. In dry weather, the clay shrinks, leaving cracks and allowing the formation of good water reserves. White garlic crops are very sensitive to excess water, which can cause various phytosanitary problems and undermine the garlic's quality. The location of the parcels on hills or peaks helps to ensure good natural drainage.

The mild winters make it possible to avoid bulb losses due to frost and are conducive to the garlic's development as it starts to grow at 0 °C. The rainfall distribution during the first half of the year is in line with the garlic's changing water requirements, namely low until the end of March, increasing in April during the active growth phase and reaching a maximum in May when the cloves form. These weather conditions are ideal for producing bulbs with large and regular cloves.

The producers' expertise can be seen in the choice of the parcel (rich in clay and limestone and well drained by virtue of its topographical position) and in knowing when to harvest the garlic so it is fully mature.

‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ continues to be produced using traditional methods: the garlic is hung from a beam to dry, the bulbs are peeled by hand and the garlic is presented for sale.

Drying is an important step for preserving the product's internal quality throughout the period that it is marketed and sold. Traditional drying is assisted by the hot and dry Autan wind. In parallel with traditional drying for garlic harvested with its leaves, the producers of ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ have developed a drying method using forced ventilation which has no adverse impact on the quality of the product, and is used mainly for drying garlic without stem or roots, which demonstrates their capacity to adapt to new market demands. The garlic is peeled manually. This work is very meticulous and requires all the producers' expertise to produce white to ivory white bulbs, sometimes streaked with violet, but without any dirty, torn or shrivelled husks.

The use of the local varieties Corail and Jolimont, which do not have hard necks, makes it possible to present the garlic in the traditional way by hand (in plaits, grappes, bunches and baskets), which also requires the producers' expertise.

The development of traditional ways of presenting the garlic and the various events established at the beginning of the 1960s maintain a festive and convivial atmosphere around the production. ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ was exhibited at the Agricultural Fair (le Salon de l'agriculture) from 1961. It was during this period that the reputation of ‘Ail blanc de Lomagne’ spread. In Larousse gastronomique, it is mentioned among the white garlic varieties under the heading ‘characteristics of garlic varieties’, as well as in various other works: ‘This garlic is ubiquitous, plaited into pretty garlands, on market stalls; without it the cuisine of Midi-Pyrénées would lose a good deal of its authenticity. In this area, when a chef specifies which garlic to use he will often say “if possible pink garlic from Lautrec” unless you can use “ail blanc de Lomagne”’. Terroirs et gastronomie en Midi-Pyrénées [Localities and cuisine of Midi-Pyrénées]/C. Gouvion, F. Cousteaux, D. Shaw/Ed. du Rouergue. In 1999, a well-known chef from the Midi-Pyrénées region won a national competition organised by Ofimer (Office national interprofessionnel des produits de la mer [National interprofessional office for seafood products]) with a recipe called ‘Pavé de cabillaud à l'ail blanc de Lomagne’[Cod steak with white garlic from Lomagne]. The chefs participating in this competition had to invent and prepare a recipe marrying ‘their top regional products with the particular qualities of fish’ — La Dépêche du Midi,23 May 1999.

Reference to publication of the specification

https://info.agriculture.gouv.fr/gedei/site/bo-agri/document_administratif-975bae1b-de70-4aeb-a1ac-0fd8765dd9fe


(1)  OJ L 179, 19.6.2014, p. 17.

(2)  OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, p. 1.


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