The aim of the guarantee label is to protect chestnuts designated under the "Castaña del Bierzo" designation of origin and the characteristics defined in its regulations.
The county of El Bierzo has more than 18,000 ha of chestnut orchards and produces around 8,000 t of chestnuts on average per year. More than 35,000 chestnut growers produce chestnuts in the region due to the extreme smallholdings. The production area corresponds mainly to the region of Bierzo in the west of the Spanish province of Leon. The fruit is variable in terms of characteristics depending on the variety; these are defined according to morphological, sensory and quality characteristics.
Nine associated companies that label the product destined to the final client under the Castaña del Bierzo GL
The massive adhesion to the guarantee label by producers and companies, and the evolution of the same to other types of brands with greater depth in the market. Likewise, other brands or quality labels can provide added value to the product, such as sustainable forest management certifications.
Companies are making increasing use of the brand. However, exports and bulk transactions are still important, the fruit losing all the added value that can remain in the region. Similarly, although the catalogue of products derived from the Bierzo chestnut is still limited, there is growing interest in transforming the chestnut and its derivatives, especially dry chestnuts and chestnut flour.
Compatibility of labels, both management and quality, and development of quality seals that recognize the wild origin of the product.
Pablo Linares Barreal