Since 2006, all products with a designation of origin in the European Union have been united under a standardized label, the Protected Designation Origin seal of approval, which is clearly identified by a single red and yellow logo.
It comes as a replacement for national logos, such as the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée in France, in order for customers of all countries to identify products originating from a delimited area.
Today, over 150 different types of European cheese, butter and cream, among which 49 are French, meet the requirements of the PDO seal of approval.
6 Norman dairy products obtained the PDO seal of approval: Camembert de Normandie, Livarot, Pont-l'évêque, Neufchâtel, beurre (butter) d'Isigny and crème fraîche (cream) d'Isigny.
Their requirements favor:
- A production area centered around "bocage" areas (hedged farmland)
- Normande breed cows, which feed shall be based on grazing and grassland in all its forms
- A specific production process, from the milk production to the packaging of the cheese.
To protect the landscape and biodiversity thanks to grassland grazing, the use of local breed cows and less intensive breeding.
In rural areas, to preserve jobs and farm, handcraft, industrial and touristic activities thanks to non-relocatable production and a better added value.
To preserve a valuable cultural heritage through products with a strong identity which stand out from other standardized products from all over the world.
→ That approach is consistent with sustainable development
Cattle breeding units and cheese-making facilities united in the ODG, the Organisme de Défense et de Gestion (Organization for Defense and Management), in charge of:
An independent Supervision Organization controls the operators, the ODG and the cheese which is submitted to a panel of experts for tasting every two months. In case of non-compliance, it decides what applicable sanctions shall be taken.
The INAO, Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (National Institute for Origin and Quality), validates the requirements which are then forwarded to the European Union for PDO recognition.