Certifications, labels, competitions, experience: how do they work and what to think of them for tailor made jam and your brand of jam?
Red Label, PDO, PGI, Agricultural Contest, AB, Guaranteed Origins, Product of the Year, etc… Nowadays there are many labels on our food products. When you choose a brand or when you decide to create one, it is almost impossible to miss one of these labels, a certification, or a medal at a contest. These awards are written on the packaging, catch the eye with an extra label and encourage the consumer to trust and buy!
In fact, they are highly appreciated and valued by consumers who use them to choose when they hesitate between different brands.
Do you know that each distinction will have a different mode of attribution, based on more or less precise evaluation criteria and awarded free or paid ?
Moreover, these modes of attribution differ from one country to another, from one trade area to another. For example, organic certification is indicated by the green and white AB logo in France, a leaf made with stars on a green background for Europe, the USDA acronym in America.
How do you find your way around?
Do you really know how these rewards work? What do they mean and why do you value some over others for your tailor made jam?
Certifications, labels, food competitions: how to find your way?
How to obtain a label or food certification for your brand of jam or any other product?
How to obtain a food label and what are they?
Labels validate a correspondence to a specification: official, published, approved by a State or an official institution, national or international community (for example European Union). They indicate an official sign of quality.
A manufacturer, a brand or a product obtains a label following a validation by an approved and official certifying body: on audit and/or file with evidence.
It is also important to know that throughout the year the General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (or customs) in each country can take samples of products or visit producers to check that everything complies with the specifications of the label displayed.
Here are the 4 official European food labels signs of quality:
- the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) ;
- the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI);
- Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG);
In France we also find national labels:
- The red label (more than 400 approved!)
- Mention “product of the farm”.
- Mention “resulting from an operation of high environmental value”.
How do food competitions work?
In food as in any other field, the competitions obey a decision process of a jury or committee.
The judgement of the jury members is based on :
- the rules of the contest
- Conformity to the theme of the competition edition
- Participation is free or paid (sometimes very expensive !), upon registration or sponsorship.
Competitions award prizes by ranking from best to least good the products evaluated, or from most to least compliant with the criteria evaluated.
The prizes are obviously very much subject to the tastes and ideas of the jurors or committee members. This is why in some nationally renowned competitions, jurors receive training, as for example for the famous « Concours Général Agricole » in France, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
What is the difference between label and certification?
Certification is the process of obtaining the label. Certification is a set of procedures, files, examinations or audits that validates the suitability of the product or manufacturer to the standards of a specification.
The validation of the respect of these standards and rules allows the use of the label: a name and a logo, generally.
The label is the external sign visible by the consumer on the product or the communication tools of the producer of obtaining the certification.
Labels, competitions, certifications, prizes: what do they guarantee to consumers?
What are the product characteristics guaranteed by labels?
They have been created and codified to provide consumers with reliable and verified information that highlights distinctive product characteristics.
They are binding for brands but very useful to attract the consumer and help him choose according to what he values most.
Obtaining an official label is a guarantee, a pledge that the criteria are respected by the product and the manufacturer.
For example, to obtain the AB, bio organic, label, our entire jam manufacturing process is audited once a year by Ecocert, the official body authorized to award the label. If the verification of the documents, raw materials, their storage, their manufacturing process, and their labelling is in accordance with the ORGANIC specifications, then our jams and we obtain the right to display the Organic logo.
The labels validate modes of cultivation or breeding, manufacturing methods, geographical origins or variety, the respect of traditional manufacturing gestures.
What do food competitions reward?
The product characteristics rewarded by the competitions are varied. We find for example :
- excellence of taste for the « Concours Général Agricole », « Les Epicures »
- Innovation for the Industry and Food Show Trophies (SIAL)
- Adapting to consumer expectations for « Product of the Year »
- Enough to satisfy the varied expectations of consumers in a wide range of fields.
For example for artisanal jams, each year is organized in a private way, out of State or official Institution, the contest of the best jam of the world as well as contests of the best jams of regions.
By the way, did you know that one year we won the gold medal for the best jam in the Galaxy? (A little April 1st joke on our Instagram page for StarWars fans!)
Do you have to choose between labels, know-how and experience for your brand of jam?
Labels, certifications and awards do not exclude experience and know-how. On the contrary!
Method and technique without practice do not bring excellence!
Since 1952, Andrésy Confitures started making tailor-made jam in copper basins, cooking the fruits of the surrounding orchards. Then our expertise was enriched thanks to the brands of jams or great names of French cuisine with whom we have worked since then.
Today we have more than 70 years of experience with dozens of different fruits, thousands of recipes, many prestigious brands for which we create each year one or more 100% custom-made recipes : fruit sourcing, choice of a dedicated jar, personalized labeling, and of course recipes and adapted cooking!
Obviously this know-how of excellence is found in each of our brands:
- Les Confitures à l’Ancienne, which offers the best of the tradition of jams made in France.
- Andrésy Origines, which offers qualitative fruit varieties and origins, selecting the best fruits from the best terroirs in France, Europe and the world for the most exotic fruits.
- And Our Organic range, with fruits from qualitative and local origins, which displays a tricolor modernity very appreciated by jam lovers all over the world.
Give proof of excellence in the making of our artisanal jams: discover why you can trust our brands!
Of course during our existence, we have obtained directly, or via the brands of jams for which we work, multiple certifications labels and awards!
Here are the ones we are most proud of and that best reflect our know-how of excellence:
- IFS FOOD: a very demanding certification in food that guarantees respect for consumer safety throughout the manufacture of the artisanal jam for which we improve our own every year, with a rigorous monitoring of our jam production by our quality department and the involvement of all our teams.
- ORGANIC : of course some of our jams are organic and we are proud to renew this official label every year thanks to the seriousness of our sourcing and the expertise of our production and administration teams.
- EPV : we are still and always officially declared a Living Heritage Company by the French Ministry of Agriculture because we respect the traditional gestures of artisanal jam making and perpetuate the French gastronomic tradition, with an international influence.
- Producer and Craftsman of Quality: the quality of our jams has been recognized for years by our customers and the starred French chefs of the Collège Culinaire de France. What recognition that of these so demanding palates!
As if all these mentions of quality were not enough, we have been engaged for 2 years in an active Social and Environmental Responsibility approach, shared by all our collaborators and rewarded by the gold medal awarded by ECOVADIS and the GLOBAL COMPACT.
This search for excellence at the service of our artisanal jam making and the food brands, chefs and prestigious establishments for which we work is in our DNA!
Certifications, labels and competitions are a good way to constantly challenge our know-how!
You want to work with the jam maker who has made excellent his credo?
Ask for a study for a tailor made jam and be at the meeting point of the expectations of your customers for your brand of jam!
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