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Name change for the Charentais melon?

Charentais melons do not come from the Charente department of France. It is a trade name, not a production origin," explained Jérôme Jausseran, communications manager at the Interprofessional Melon Association (AIM) during medFEL, about the progress of the name change for the Charentais melon.

"Confusing" name for consumers
"The name 'Charentais' creates confusion and even distrust among consumers," according to Rémi Javernaud, AIM coordinator. "Today, we regularly receive letters from consumers accusing us of lying, when we market 'Charentais melons from Morocco' or from 'Cavaillon'," explains Jérôme Jausseran. Although Charentais melons are produced in the Charente and Charente-Maritime departments, it is a commercial appellation rather than a territorial indication of production origin. Charentais melons are also produced in Morocco and Spain.

Where does the 'Charentais' name come from? "The Charente department became a land of melon cultivation. As one of the most important producing regions, it gave its name to the most widely consumed type of melon," according to AIM.

What about the name change process?
"Renaming the Charentais melon has been under consideration since the creation of AIM in 2009," explains Rémi Javernaud. It is with the creation of the Charentais Naming Commission in 2009 that the dossier took a new turn: naming operations, recruitment of a communications agency... The new name of "ribbed melon" was proposed. "This was followed by a phase of institutional work with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the DGCCRF. Today, we are working with the Variety and Seed Study and Inspection Group (GEVES)," which has been reluctant to change the name. "We are up against a totally unacceptable position by GEVES, which thinks that the Charentais melon is a heritage name. So it is up to us to remove this obstacle, knowing that other producing countries like Morocco are ready to make the name change. It is really a question of working with all the different production areas," explains Jérôme Jausseran.

AIM's mission is to unite, support and represent producers, shippers and consumers.

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