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Geographical indication protection of “Mù Cang Chải” for honey

On 29 December 2020, Director General of Intellectual Property Office of Viet Nam has issued Decision no. 4927/QĐ-SHTT on granting Geographical indication registration certificate no. 00101 for “Mù Cang Chải” honey People’s Committee of Mù Cang Chải district, Yên Bái is the organization in charge of managing this GI.

Mù Cang Chải honey is one of the most famous specialty of the Northwestern mountainous region. Mù Cang Chải has over eighty thousand hectares of forest, consists of mostly natural forest, with hundreds of varieties of wildflowers blooming all year long, which is a favourable condition for beekeeping. Thanks to the mixture from a wide variety of pollens, the bees here can produce high quality honey with gold colour, thick texture and natural aroma and pleasantly sweet taste. Usually, in the later winter months, Blong song flowers and wild peach blossoms bloom in unison. After Tết (lunar new year), hawthorn, lanxangia tsaoko, and other wildflowers also bloom successively. Therefore, there are always flowers for the bees to make honey in this region. Thanks to the purity, the natural taste and other properties, Mù Cang Chải honey is a consumers’ favourite and highly sought.

 

 

For honey, different flowers will result in different colours. In the mountainous Mù Cang Chải, there are two seasons of honey, producing two different colours of the honey for each season. Honey produced in September to November (main season) will have a transparent milky colour, thick texture and no impurity. Visible impurities in Mù Cang Chải honey are bee wax, beeling corpses and pollen particles. The particular colour of the honey is due to the fact that the main season is also the time that Blong song flower in the forest of Mù Cang Chải, the main source of pollen for the bees, bloom. As Blong song flower is a natural plant of the region and has a high amount of honey in the flower, honey spinning cycle is shorter at once per 4 to 5 days. The particular traits of honey produced from Blong song flower are its specific pleasant aroma and mildly sweet taste. Honey produced in this season consists of 18.07% to 18.54% water, 0.74% to 0.84% Saccarose, 33.28% to 35.25% Fructose, 32.75% to 34.52% Glucose.

The primary sources for honey harvested in March to April are lanxangia tsaoko and crabapple. Thanks to the high density high amount of honey in these flowers, honey spinning cycle is shorter at once per 5 to 7 days. Honey harvested in this season has transparent orange colour, thick texture, a specific pleasant aroma, and strong and pleasant sweet taste. Honey produced in this season consists of 18.28% to 18.89% water, 2.03% to 2.41% Saccarose, 36.36% to 36.84% Fructose, and 35.74% to 36.43% Glucose. This is also the honey specific to the mountainous region of Mù Cang Chải and is highly regarded by consumers.

It is thanks to the peculiarity of the geographical area that Mù Cang Chải is highly favoured by the consumers. The area has the Hoàng Liên Sơn range that consists of multiple mountains ranging from Northwest to Southeast. The terrain is highly divisive resulting in the long mountain ranges with the average altitude of over 900 metre. The average temperature of Mù Cang Chải is 19.6 oC, the average total hours of sunlight is nearly 1,800 giờ. The average annual rainfall is about 1,990 mm, with the rain season starts in April and ends in September. The forest area is large, the soil consists of mostly Ferrasols, thick and rich in humus and organic matters. These conditions are favourable for the development of plants for honey bees such as Blong song, pommerac, lanxangia tsaoko, crabapple, etc.

Moreover, the locals have been producing honey for a long time thanks to the favourable conditions of Mù Cang Chải. The producers have a particular know how of keeping the traditional honey with the indigenous bee species, combining with the techniques of keeping bees in the natural forests and use no antibiotics, etc. All of these elements have resulted in the peculiar characterics of Mù Cang Chải honey.

Geographical area: The communes of Cao Phạ, Chế Cu Nha, Chế Tạo, Dế Xu Phình, Hồ Bốn, Khao Mang, Kim Nọi, La Pán Tẩn, Lao Chải, Mồ Dề, Nậm Có, Nậm Khắt, Púng Luông and Mù Cang Chải township Mù Cang Chải district, Yên Bái province.

   

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