A press release from the Hop Growers Union of the Czech Republic indicates the European protected designation of origin “Zatecky Chmel” (Saaz hops) was used for the first time in the processing the 2007-2008 hop products of from Zatec.
Hops from 138 villages in the Czech Republic were labeled with the Zatecky mark. The majority of those were shipped to Japan. The label was first shown to the public last Sept. 1 during the Zatec hop festival.
The Hop Growers Unions submitted the application for the designation in 2004.
“The protected designation of origin ‘Zatecky Chmel’ is the first and still the only designation for hops within the EU and also one of the first such designations given to Czech agricultural or food product,” Hop Growers Union representative Mr. Zdenek Rosa said for a press release. “This also confirms the uniqueness and tradition of these hops.”
Added May 5: Evan Rail adds historical background. There was already a push for the use of “Žatecký chmel” as the correct term for Saaz hops way back in 1922, a move which caused quite a bit of controversy at the time.