Saturday, December 24 2016 17:39
Naira Badalian

Armenian Agriculture Minister stands for maintaining quality of Armenian brandy

Armenian Agriculture Minister stands for maintaining quality of  Armenian brandy

ArmInfo.Minister of  Agriculture of Armenia stands for maintaining high quality of  Armenian brandy proposing to introduce compulsory isotope analysis of  the brandy produced in the country. 

The Minister informed journalists at the press conference today that  the State Service of Food Safety has all the necessary laboratory  equipment, which should be used for verifying the originality of the  Armenian brandy. "We need to increase requirements to the quality of  this product and make isotope analysis as a mandatory condition of  producing brandy", the Minister stressed. 

To recall, the government of Armenia has been concerned of the  problem of quality of cheap colored alcohol drinks produced in  Armenia under Armenian brandy label by various first of all small and  medium sized enterprises. This situation creates significant problems  for serious producers and negatively affects the image of "Armenian  brandy" brand. That is why yet in the middle of 2011 a governmental  decision on using new trade name "Arbun" was to come into force for  labeling brandies produced in the country based on imported and first  of all cheap wheat spirit. According to the law local spirits should  be used for production of brandy. Within the first five years both  "Arbun" and "Brandy" labels were to be written on the bottles so that  the consumers got used to it. According to the law the "Armenian  brandy" and "Armenian cognac" are of the same class and should be  100% produced from grape grown in Armenia. However, despite the  government's decision Armenian consumers did not see "Arbun" drinks  in the stores. While the producers have just ignored this decision  due to lack of due control and inconsistency of state agencies. Some  experts think that this decision was related to the process of  Armenia's preparation to European integration, in case of which  "Armenian cognac" should have been replaced with "Armenian brandy"  name. 

A representative of one of the companies producing Armenian brandy,  who asked not to publish his name, told AmInfo that the new  Minister's intention to clean the market from counterfeit products is  welcoming, however it will be very difficult to implement it as  influential producers of alcohol drinks will resist it.  According to  him experts' assessments, which do not coincide with the official  statistics, show that the amount of grape, moreover those types which  are used for producing cognac spirit, is insufficient for producing  17-18 mln liters of cognac, which is produced annually according to  statistics. That is why some of producers actively use imported cheap  wheat spirits for making brandy and moreover export it to Russia and  other countries of CIS. He noted that a half-liter bottle of Armenian  cognac produced with due technology can not cost 3-4 USD, obviously  it is a counterfeit product or a poor quality drink. The interlocutor  mentioned that today the producers of true Armenian brandy face a  difficult situation as buying capacity of the population drops both  in Armenia and in the partner countries, they have also faced  devaluation of Russian Ruble, of which producers of counterfeit  products benefited.

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