The European Commission is scheduled to grant a “protected geographical indication” (PGI) label to a sausage from the Ardennes region in eastern Belgium within a few weeks. This was announced by the Walloon Minister of Agriculture, René Collin, on the sidelines of a visit by King Philip to a company in Champion that makes the famous ‘saucisson d’Ardennes’.
King Philip visited the Marcassou company on Friday to mark the 50th anniversary of the salting company, located on National Highway 4 close to Tenneville.
Collin announced the upcoming award at the end of the visit. “It’s a years-long combat waged by many producers and butchers from the Ardennes as well as the Marcassou company,” he said. “We’ve had difficulties with the Flemish Region and companies in the north of the country, who feel [Ardennes-style] sausages are also produced in Flanders. The European Commission now has all the cards in hand to recognize the ‘Ardennes sausage’ label and give the Flemish companies a deadline for them to adapt”
The ‘Saucisson d’Ardennes’ (Ardennes sausage) PGI will cover sausages produced in parts of the provinces of Luxembourg, Namur and Liège. It will join another EC-recognized label, ‘Jambon d’Ardennes’ (Ardennes Ham) which covers about 20 companies in the region, Collin explained.
The Marcassou factory employs 50 persons, most of them from the area. It is the largest producer of salted meats and sausages in terms of volume in Wallonia.