Protected Geographical Indication (Grójeckie apples)
On 5 October 2011, Grójeckie apples were entered into the register maintained by the European Commission as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
PGI – (Protected Geographical Indication) serves to identify products made in a concrete region. The particular characteristics of the product must directly result from the cultural or natural character of the place in which it is produced, such as climate, soil, landscape, sun exposure, or unchanging, traditional methods of production.
Protected Geographical Indication has been conferred to 27 varieties of apple tree and their derivatives, grown in a precisely indicated area of the Mazovian and Lódź regions. It is important that under the title PGI only apples of class extra and class I and fulfilling the minimum requirements regarding size, colour and pulp firmness can be sold. Producers are obligated to abide by the principles of Integrated Production (IP) or the specifications of GLOBALGAP (system of food safety in agriculture) at each level – from preparing the location to packing and shipment.
Grójeckie apples are characterised by their regular, slightly lengthened, spherical shape. Their skin is shiny and of a greenish-yellow colour. It features a high level of colouring, and its appearance is dependent on the characteristics of particular varieties. In some cases a blush takes up as much as 95% of the fruit. Grójeckie apples are characterised by acidity that is about 5% higher than the average for the same varieties grown in other regions.
Each location intended for establishing an orchard is thoroughly assessed regarding soil quality, and if necessary, properly fertilised, exclusively with manure or green fertilisers. In order to obtain the desired type of crown, so that the sun reaches each apple, apple trees are trimmed to allow more light at the beginning of the vegetative season. All diseases, weeds or pests are removed under strict control, and chemical agents are used only in case of absolute necessity, when mechanical methods have been ineffective.
Fruit growing is a particularly important aspect of life for residents of the Grójec region. For many years at the end of May, the Blooming Apple Tree Festival has been held in the Grójec region, during which it is possible to buy seedlings of the most delicious varieties.