This includes :
Managing unforeseeable climate risks
Espelette peppers are grown in open fields and are extremely vulnerable to unforeseeable climate risks.
In order to minimise those risks we have opted to vary the location of the plots planted. They are situated in different parts of the Piment d’Espelette protected zone, thus limiting the effects of possible spring hail, in valleys sheltered from summer heat waves and on hillsides free from early frosts.
Each producer must :
- Comply with in-company specifications which lay out our requirements (in addition to those in the PDO specifications)
- Agree to technical visits aimed at verifying compliance with the production process and the plot records (traceability of cultivation methods)
- Accept annual evaluations (both quantitative and qualitative) to ascertain if the objectives set down at the beginning of the season have been met.
Total product control
At present GP Pays Basque controls 85% of its supply and buys around 15% from the sector. The latter is subjected to systematic quality checks (sensory and microbiological tests, packaging and labelling conformity, quantities, weight, etc).
Even if the powder has been PDO approved, it may be refused if certain internal criteria we have demanded have not been met.
Example: PDO powder + NC microbiological test = powder refused for purchase